Himalayas of Literature – Online Literature Courses

From: $21.00 / month

The Himalayas of Literature is an online course series focused on Infinite Jest, The Waves, The Recognitions, Gravity’s Rainbow, 2666, and Finnegans Wake.


For curious minds who love the challenge of really important books, our Himalayas of Literature Course Series offers expert instruction and a community of climbers that focus on one literary mountain at a time. Think of this like an intense online book club with a guide to help you climb and conversations to help you understand some of the hardest books of all time.

Climbing the highest peaks on the planet is the ultimate physical accomplishment. Nearly everyone has daydreamed of some great feat: climbing the highest mountains, visiting remote but beautiful places across the globe, making a great discovery that betters many lives, solving a difficult problem in math or physics, playing the whole Beethoven Sonata cycle or some other Herculean feat of musical prowess, and yes, reading and understanding great but very difficult books.

Our group of expeditionary adventurers will attempt, over approximately a twelve-month course, to scale six mountains of literature, each with a unique difficulty to overcome and a treasure to be found upon completion. Aided by guides, both digital and human, and working together to overcome challenges presented by the material, we will become not only better readers, but more alive to the potential locked within our minds.

For many of us reading is as important as breath. The specific books chosen for this course exist in the rare air at the height of literary achievement. All six novels fall into the modern and post-modern realm of literary criticism. This is the era beyond realism where the questions that wake us in the middle of the night linger and play. The discipline involved to simply read the words is only the first step. Every book stands alone as a work of art, and art only lives when the audience gets involved with the artist in the creative process.

“We’re not keen on the idea of the story sharing its valence with the reader. But the reader’s own life ‘outside’ the story changes the story.”

–David Foster Wallace

Reading these books involves bringing your life experience and learning to the encounter, regardless of what disciplines you trained in. Supplemental materials focused on modern and postmodern theory will increase our ability to scale these unconventional vanguards of literary excellence. These are not light entertainments for a day at the beach. They are the products of minds that wrestle with the big questions of existence and the problems of living in a world of infinite, instantly available information. They aspire to show the breadth and depth of a world where manipulation, media, and group psychology blur the lines between thinking and knowing. They afford us the opportunity to create order out of chaos by seeing beyond the words on the printed page and into the consciousness of the creator. Ascend to heights you’ve never imagined and join our online literature courses.

Himalayas of Literature – Online Literature Courses
Book Selections

All Six Novels – Monthly, All Six Novels – Yearly, Infinite Jest, The Waves, The Recognitions, Gravity's Rainbow, 2666, Finnegan's Wake

Stephen L. Russell

Many years ago, deep in the heart of Texas, Stephen fell in love with long, dense novels that most of his friends and family found better suited for pressing flowers or propping up a broken table leg than as something to crack open and read. He found these books opened his mind to rich experiences with an immediacy that simply didn’t exist in day-to-day life.

Graduate level courses in Faulkner and Milton at Trinity University in San Antonio, along with continuing obsessions with Shakespeare, World Mythology, and the life changing discovery of Aristotle’s “Poetics” led him to consume much of the literary canon, participate in workshops on the craft of writing, and help organize and lead discussions in a book club of serious authors, academics, and journalists studying literary craft for nearly ten years.

Stephen worked in retail sales and management for over forty years, the last fourteen as a bookstore manager, before retiring to his great passions of learning through reading great literature, writing, and sharing his experience with other bibliophiles.

He is also continuing his mythology and self-discovery studies as a student of Dr. David Frawley, studying the Vedic sciences and philosophy. His personal philosophy comes from from the great Zen teacher, Shrunyu Suzuki:

“The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind…in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

Himalayas of Literature – Online Literature Courses

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