Tag Archives: ISIS

The Terrible Beauty of Political Fanatics

While many are celebrating the centenary of Ireland’s Easter uprising, Yeats’s famous poem on the rebellion offers us cautions about how to respond to such acts of rebellion today.

Posted in Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Is to Trump as Albany Is to Goneril

While Trump calls for torture of terrorists and Ted Cruz calls for carpet bombing them, President Obama calls for America to take the high moral road. He sounds like Albany arguing with Goneril in “King Lear.”

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

When It Comes to Culture, Bet on France

In the wake of the ISIS attacks, France has something to fall back on: its proud literary tradition.

Posted in Apollinaire (Guillaume), Camus (Albert), Hugo (Victor), Jarry (Alfred), Proust (Marcel), Sartre (Jean Paul) | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ISIS Mastermind Like Mystery Cat Macavity

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind behind the Paris attacks, is like Eliot’s “Macavity: the Mystery Cat.” He has been connected with a string of terrorist incident but is never captured.

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We Risk Becoming Grendel’s Mother

In reaction to the horrors of the Paris massacres, we are in danger of becoming consumed by the vengeful grief of Grendel’s Mother. The times call upon us to be Beowulf strong.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Can Poetry Respond Adequately to Evil?

Americans turned to Auden’s “September 1, 1939” following 9-11, and it can inspire and guide us following the Paris terror attacks.

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ISIS and the Grand Inquisitor

Dostoevsky may provide a compelling explanation for the recruiting success of ISIS: young people want to escape from freedom.

Posted in Dostoevsky (Fyodor), Houellebecq (Michel) | Also tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

If Beowulf Went to War with ISIS

The Jordanian response to the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot reminds us that Grendel’s Mother is on the loose in the Middle East. Beowulf models how we should respond.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sir Gawain & the ISIS Beheadings

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” helps us understand the horror we feel at the ISIS beheadings.

Posted in Sir Gawain Poet | Also tagged , , , | 6 Comments

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