The Learning Channel highlights a handful of the world's greatest books today. TLC's "Great Books Festival" (9 a.m.-3 a.m.) includes the premiere of an hour devoted to one-time Baltimore resident F. Scott Fitzgerald's jazz-age chronicle, "The Great Gatsby" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., repeats 2 a.m.-3 a.m.). Narrator Donald Sutherland and a host of writers and academics (including Jackson Bryer from the University of Maryland, College Park) bring Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and the gang to life -- not by acting out the story but by relating the plot; putting the story in the context of when it was written; providing details of the turbulent life of Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda; explaining the novel's effect, on its time and on history; and subjecting the novel to both literary and cultural criticism. It sounds quite stuffy but isn't at all.
TLC will also be premiering an hour devoted to Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., repeats 1 a.m.-2 a.m.) and encoring episodes devoted to such classics as "Catch 22" (11 a.m.-noon), "Native Son" (3 p.m.-4 p.m.), "Frankenstein" (4 p.m.-5 p.m.) and "Moby Dick" (7 p.m.-8 p.m., repeats 11 p.m.-midnight).
Pub Date: 9/13/97