Tag Archives: Alexander Pope

Teaching Euripides in the Age of Title IX

Recently a student reported me for using sexist language in the classroom. (This while teaching a Kingsolver novel and Euripides’s “The Bacchae.”) The language did not reflect my own views, but the complaint made me realize that I need to be more careful with this generation of students.

Posted in Euripides, Gay (John), Kingsolver (Barbara), Kingston (Maxine Hong), Pope (Alexander) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pope Foresaw GOP Capitulation to Trump

Alexander Pope warned, in “Essay on Man” that vice loses its ugliness once it becomes familiar. This is the danger we face with the normalization of Donald Trump.

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The Pleasure of a Pathless Wood

For Americans, wilderness is a more unkempt affair than it for Europeans.

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Mood Swings: Inside Out, Rape of the Lock

“Inside Out” has a lot in common with Pope’s “Rape of the Lock.” Both show us the interior drama of their heroines. In both works, the heroines lose touch with their upbeat helpers.

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Sports Autographs & Locks of Hair

Fans’ obsession with autographs are like the Baron’s obsession with Belinda’s locks in “Rape of the Lock.”

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10 Famous Fetish Objects in Lit

Literature is filled with fetish objects that take on outsized significance to various characters.

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Fielding (Henry), Poe (Edgar Allan), Pope (Alexander), Proust (Marcel), Rushdie (Salman), Shakespeare (William), Sir Gawain Poet, Wycherley (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Reflecting on “A Little Learning”

Pope’s “a little learning is a dangerous thing” applies to many of today’s policy debates.

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Pope’s Longing for a Spotless Mind

The movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” uses an Alexander Pope poem as its springboard.

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Lear’s Nonsense Perfect for Children

My grandson’s tiny body and large head brought to mind Edward Lear’s Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.

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The Worst Poem Ever Published?

The worst poem ever published may be William McGonagall’s “The Tay Bridge Disaster.”

Posted in McGonagall (William Topaz) | Also tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Obama: A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

Climate denialists who attack science have a lot in common with Pope’s dunces.

Posted in Crichton (Michael), Pope (Alexander), Vaughan (Henry) | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Hope Springs Eternal in the NFL Draft

The NFL draft perfectly exemplifies Alexander Pope’s passage about hope.

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The Right Wing’s War on Science

Tim O’Brien describes a character for whom facts are formed by sensation. Sounds like today’s right wing.

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Justice’s Alimentary Imperative

Alexander Pope understood that justice is best served on a full stomach.

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The End of the World As We Know It?

A number of poets have written poems about the apocalypse. But it’s always figurative, never literal.

Posted in Arnold (Matthew), Pope (Alexander), Shelley (Percy), Woolf (Virginia) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Federer: Floating Butterfly, Stinging Bee

In the immortal words of Muhammad Ali, Roger Federer floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee as he won his 7th Wimbledon title yesterday.

Posted in Ali (Muhammad), Pope (Alexander), Shakespeare (William), Tolkien (J.R.R.) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Literary Reflections on QEII’s Coronation

A. S. Byatt points to the renewal symbolism that Britain found in the the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 60 years ago.

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The Rape of John Lauber’s Locks

The high school incident where Romney forcibly cut a classmate’s hair is less “Lord of the Flies” and more “Rape of the Lock.”

Posted in Golding (William), Pope (Alexander) | Also tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Reading for Fun, the Best Education

In “Northanger Abbey,” Jane Austen advocates the ideal way to raise one’s kids: encourage them to read good literature and they will learn the life lessons that they need.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Carroll (Lewis), Gay (John), Gray (Thomas), Pope (Alexander), Shakespeare (William), Thompson (James) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

And Universal Darkness Buries All

Yesterday I talked about irresponsible political commentators and politicians and how they reminded me of the scribblers that John Dryden was worried about in the 1680’s. In the 1740’s Alexander Pope was even more pessimistic about the threat they posed. In The Dunciad he imagines an inevitable cultural slide until “universal darkness buries all.” Harold […]

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Enough Already, Rush, Glenn, Shadwell!

Last week when I complained about Christopher Hitchens, I think I was reacting as much to the incessant chatter of pundits as to Hitchens himself. At present there appear to be non-stop voices competing with each other to see who can make the most outrageous claims or confrontational statements, whether on talk radio, cable television, […]

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The Poetry of Spanish Soccer

The incomparable Xavi  Sports Saturday Spanish sports is having a great year. First of all, Spanish forward Pau Gasol was a major reason why the Los Angeles Lakers won their 16th championship in an archetypal series against the Boston Celtics. Then we were officially ushered from the Age of Federer into the Age of Nadal […]

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Sarah Palin and All the King’s Men

The political world seems to be agog over Sarah Palin these days, with Joel Klein of Time and  David Broder of The Washington Post, two columnists I respect, telling us to take her very seriously.  This has got me thinking of fictional populists, especially Willie Stark in Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men (1946), one of […]

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Using Twilight to Teach Antigone

Having compared Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight yesterday with Frances Burney’s Evelina, I feel I owe my readers an apology and an explanation. The apology is that I violated one of my principles for the website and judged the book by the movie. All I’ve read of Twilight is the excerpt on amazon.com. If I sell the […]

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Playing Cards in Rape of the Lock

The rules for ombre and how the hands are played in “Rape of the Lock.” Altogether brilliant.

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