The Indianapolis Literary Club - 145th year

Mr. Secretary

Exercises 2020-2021
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Mr. Secretary
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Indiana Historical Records
In Memoriam
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Literary Clubs in the US


David G. Vanderstel, Secretary

6679 E. Pleasant Run Parkway South Drive

Indianapolis, Indiana  46219



11 January 2021




            The new Indianapolis Literary Club year is off to a good start following a successful meeting via Zoom on 4 January.  The next meeting of the Club will be 8:00 pm on Tuesday 19 January 2021 on Zoom.  Please note the change of evening due to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  The evening’s essayist will be Stephen J. Jay who will read his essay “Changing the Nature of Things.”    


My heart is wasted by the thought of that destructive power which lies concealed in every part of universal nature. Nature has formed nothing that does not consume itself, and every object near it; so that, surrounded by earth and air, and all the active powers, I wander on my way with aching heart; and the universe is to me a fearful monster, for ever devouring its own offspring.

                        German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), 

The Sorrows of Young Werther


The last meeting of the Club -- which was to have been the annual holiday collation -- began with a period of open conversation for all who entered the meeting early.  President Joseph Hingtgen then extended his New Year’s greetings to the members.  The Secretary then presented the nomination of James William Brown, a retired professor of journalism at IUPUI, whose membership is sponsored by John Guy, Morton Marcus, and Gene Lausch.  The Club then spoke to the nomination and voted to invite Mr. Brown to membership.  Congratulations and welcome, Jim!


Past president Jim Lingenfelter reported that details are being worked on for the annual Tri-Lit meeting, featuring author A’Lelia Bundles, which would be conducted via Zoom.  Details will follow as they develop.


Members then heard first-time essayist David Lips present his essay, “Two Timer, or Once is Not Enough.”  The essayist examined the life and political career of Grover Cleveland, the nation’s 22nd and 24thpresident.  He was one of two Democrats who won the presidency during a time of Republican domination from 1861 to 1933.  Essayist Lips explored Cleveland’s reputation for being an exceptional policymaker.  A period of engaging questions – particularly with regards to the current state of politics --and discussion followed.  


As we move into 2021, please consider potential candidates to become members of the Club.  Invite friends to join in on our Zoom meetings.  Encourage them to visit the Club website – – to learn about the Club’s history, read some of the recent essays, and even view our recorded Zoom meetings thus far.  Remind them that the Literary Club is a unique organization in the city and one of only a few remaining male literary clubs in the nation.






            A quick reminder to pay your dues if you have not done so to date.


             Make sure that your calendar is marked for the next meeting of the Club – Tuesday 19 January 2021– at 8:00 PM via Zoom.  Details for accessing the meeting will be sent closer to the meeting date.  That evening, essayist Stephen J. Jay will present his essay, “Changing the Nature of Things.”  Will this be an extension of the essayist’s presentation last year which examined the importance of science and the role of Indiana University in genetic research?  Or does the essayist have something else in mind?  You will need to join the next Club meeting – or read the distributed essay – to discover the essayist’s intent.  Hope to see you there!


            Non possunt oculi naturam noscere rerum.

            The eyes cannot know the nature of things.

                        Roman poet and philosopher Titus Lucretius (99 BC – 55 BC), 

De Rerum Natura


All discussion of the ultimate nature of things must necessarily be barren unless we have some extraneous standards against which to compare them.

                        British astrophysicist Sir James Jeans (1877-1946), 

The Mysterious Universe (1930)


                                                                                                                                                                                                The Secretary         

David G. Vanderstel, Ph.D.