Tag Archives: Sigmund Freud

What Our Favorite Books Reveal about Us

I am having my students compose personal reading histories. Freud provides a useful framework for exploring anxieties and wishes.

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Poe: Trapped in the Prison of the Self

Two Chinese students have brought home to me, from their collectivist perspective, how Edgar Allan Poe went against the grain of American individualism. He exposed its dark side, even as Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman were unabashedly celebrated it.

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Why Do We Laugh? Various Theories

Whether you see laughter as benign or hostile may come down to what kind of person you are.

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Beowulf Blog, 5 Years Old Today

Today is the five-year anniversary of this blog. I can’t quite believe that, in that time, I’ve written close to 1700 posts and probably over a million words. I have never had so much fun writing. I have particularly enjoyed my interactions with readers. Each month during the school year, around 10,000 different individuals visit […]

Posted in Silko (Leslie Marmon) | Also tagged , , | 5 Comments

Fantasy Provides Aid for Life’s Storms

As a child who grew up immersed in fantasy fiction, I knew, as deeply as I knew anything, that these books put me in touch with something that was deep and true. As I grew up, of course, I learned that I had to move beyond fantasy just as I had to move beyond childhood. […]

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“Harry, I Am Your Father” – Voldemort

Voldemort can be interpreted as the father in Harry Potter’s primal scene.

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Forgive Me for Eating Your Plums

In my experience, no two people respond to William Carlos Williams’s “This Is Just to Say” in the same way. More than most short poems, it seems to function as a Rorschach test, with reactions telling us more about the reader than the poem itself.

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Lit Beats Psychology Any Day

In addition to giving us psychological insights, literature also trains us to become better people. By engaging in the act of reading, Susan Cain says in a Psychology Today article, we increase our ability to empathize.

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Sendak and Dr. Seuss to the Rescue

In my last entry I mentioned the key role that books can play in the lives of children. I’d like to follow that up here, officially adding the category of “children’s classics” to the “great literature” to which this website is devoted.There is artistry to many of the children’s stories that we remember fondly. When […]

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