Tag Archives: Richard Wright

Can Art Thwart Trump? A Debate

In which I argue with a writer who claims that art and artists have an inflated sense of their power and that they are irrelevant in the battle against Donald Trump.

Posted in Steinbeck (John), Stowe (Harriet Beecher) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Invisible Man & Lolita Changed the ’50s

Ellison’s “Invisible Man” and Nabokov’s “Lolita” both challenged basic 1950s assumptions. The former changed public perceptions on what it meant to be black while the latter violated a tacit agreement not to go digging under neatly manicured lawns bordered by white picket fences.

Posted in Ellison (Ralph), Nabokov (Vladimir) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bigger Thomas, Clarence’s Shadow

“Native Son,” 75 years old, is Justice Clarence Thomas’ favorite novel. I theorize that Bigger Thomas is the justice’s destructive shadow.

Posted in Baldwin (James), Wright (Richard) | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading as a Subversive Act

Richard Wright’s “Black Boy” testifies to the liberating power of literature.

Posted in Wright (Richard) | Also tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Reading to Feel Accepted in a Strange Land

Last year, when the book discussion group that I moderate was participating in America’s Big Read program, I was referred to this essay written for the occasion by the Indian-American literary critic Parul Sehgal, an editor at The New York Times Book Review. I particularly like how she describes feeling accepted by books, even though she […]

Posted in Dubois (W E B), Wright (Richard) | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment

Back in the Day, We Parsed Sentences

Time was when grammar was king in the public schools. It didn’t seem to matter whether a student’s writing was interesting but whether it was correct. Then came the “process writing movement” and (in the lower grades) the “creative spelling movement.” The design was to unlock the writing energies that were being stifled by an […]

Posted in Auden (W. H.), Wright (Richard) | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Uncomfortable Books that Help Us Grow

Streep and Kline in Sophie’s Choice  A recent survey of the Tea Party movement has revealed that the movement is overwhelmingly white, educated, middle class and conservative, and people are now studying what it all means.  I love this post Ta-Tehisi Coates, a senior editor for The Atlantic. As occurs in the world of the […]

Posted in Bronte (Emily), Roth (Philip K.), Roy (Arundhati), Styron (William), Wright (Richard) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Clarence Thomas and Native Son

The focus in this week’s posts is on Supreme Court justices and literature. I notice that, in his New York Times column today, moderate conservative David Brooks endorses Sonia Sotomayor for just that restrained balance that we discussed yesterday as we explored her early love for Nancy Drew novels. Today I’m going to talk about […]

Posted in Rand (Ayn), Wright (Richard) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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