Monthly Archives: February 2018

What Would Lord Jim Do?

Trump and the NRA call for heroes with guns to save us from mass shootings. Conrad’s “Lord Jim” shows us what happens when fantasies encounter reality.

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On Labeling Survivors as “Crisis Actors”

Murakami has the perfect analogy for the vast rightwing echo chamber that labels mass shooting survivors as “crisis actors.”

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Snakes, Ladders, and National Disunity

Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children” gives us profound insights into the forces that divide people–Indians as well as Americans–and also offers solutions.

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Flannery O’Connor on Lenten Despair

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” works as a powerful Lenten meditation upon doubt and salvation.

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Mass Killings, Our Most Dangerous Game

Many high school students these days feel hunted, bringing to mind Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” Unfortunately, Trump sees it all as a game as well.

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Magical Realism’s Special Powers

Magical realism defined and its significance discussed.

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Foodie Lit, an Antidote to Anorexia?

In “The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite,” the author turned to Dickens and T. H. White but shied away from Joanne Harris’s “Chocolat.”

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Satan and Trump, Gifted Demagogues

Satan in “Paradise Lost” is a gifted leader who manipulates people for his own selfish ends–like a certain American president.

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Is Sexist Lit Gaslighting Women?

A Guardian article argues that critical praise for sexist male authors valorizes patriarchal attitudes.

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Yet Mine It Was To Call

A lovely poem about John the Baptist by an obscure poet speaks up for those who serve in anonymity.

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NRA Uber Alles

Scott Bates “unloads” on the NRA in a poem which never goes out of date.

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The Joker (Trump) Takes Over America

Rushdie compares Donald Trump to Joker in his latest novel.

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Leaders Who Make Their Own Reality

What to make of Trump’s non-stop lying? Rushdie in “Midnight’s Chidren” describes what happens when “reality quite literally cease[s] to exist.”

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Chaucer Invented St. Valentine’s Day

Chaucer may have invented St. Valentine’s Day as we have come to know it. “Parliament of Fowls” was written to celebrate the occasion, along with a royal wedding.

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Swift Predicted Trump’s Lies

Swift anticipated Donald Trump in his essay on “Political Lying.”

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White House Assaulters & Goblin Market

“Goblin Market” seems only to relevant these days given the violence against women incidents emerging from the White House.

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The Wind Is Awake (But Will You Stir?)

John Burt’s poem “On the Will to Believe” sets us up nicely for Lent, a season when we wrestle with our doubts.

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Like Sula, Trump Unites Old Opponents

Trump has brought liberals and center-right Republicans together in a way resembling how Sula unites the town in Toni Morrison’s novel. So what will happen after Trump leaves the stage.

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Reading My Way to Adulthood

As an adolescent, I used fantasy in an attempt to hold on to my childhood innocence and hated “Catcher in the Rye.” Little did I realize that Salinger’s novel describes my struggle.

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English, a More Practical Major than STEM

A recent study by Google of its 72,000 employees discovered that humanities training is more beneficial than STEM.

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Trump Drama as Sherlock Mystery

Trump and the Russian investigation resemble the Sherlock Holmes story “The Five Pips.” But is Trump the secret society doing the killing or the panicked uncle marked out for slaughter?

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Eagles’ Win Was Like a Thunderbolt

A Tennyson poem to toast the Super Bowl champs.

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Caught between Faith and Doubt

Rushdie has a great passage about a character caught between faith and doubt. The passage gives me an opportunity to determine where I myself stand.

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we have always loved each other

Ushering in Black History Month with a lovely Lucille Clifton poem about the need to keep believing in oneself.

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