Tag Archives: Tempest

The President Who Loved Literature

In a remarkable interview with “The New York Times,” Barack Obama spoke about the importance of literature in his life. The range of his reading and the sensitivity of his responses is astounding.

Posted in Bellow (Saul), Cixin (Liu), Diaz (Junot), Flynn (Gillian), Goff (Lauren), Hemingway (Ernest), Kerouac (Jack), Kerouac (Jack), Kingston (Maxine Hong), Lahiri (Jhumpa), Lee (Harper), Lessing (Doris), Mailer (Norman), Marquez (Gabriel Garcia), Morrison (Toni), Naipaul (V.S.), Robinson (Marilynne), Roth (Philip K.), Shakespeare (William), Whitehead (Colson) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shakespeare Understood Trumpism

According to Adam Gopnik, Shakespeare would have understood the rise of Donald Trump better than we do today. Whereas we see him as a historical oddity, Shakespeare would have seen him as the kind of evil that has always resided within humankind.

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Prospero and the Presidential Primaries

Think of Shakespeare’s “Tempest” as an allegory for the current state of American politics, especially the presidential primaries. It contains visionaries and cynics, orchestrators and disrupters. If Prospero is the island “establishment,” then he enjoys some success but it is qualified.

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Sacks & the Bard’s Midsummer Madness

The late Oliver Sacks’s observations on the mind sometimes sound a lot like Shakespeare in “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Tempest.”

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

All the Devils of Hell Unleashed by Katrina

The panic of New Orleans 9th Ward residents ten years ago is reminiscent of the passengers on board the ship in Shakespeare’s “Tempest”: “Hell is empty and all the devils are here!”

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

KC Royals Storm into World Series

The way the Kansas City Royals upended conventional wisdom in making it to the World Series is not unlike the chaos caused by Ariel in “The Tempest” to restore another royal to power.

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Top 10 Parent-Child Classics (Positive)

A top ten list of classics with positive depictions of parent-child relationships.

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Eliot (George), Hughes (Langston), Lee (Harper), Stowe (Harriet Beecher) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 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. […]

Posted in Keats (John), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Using Lit to Predict the Weather

Last week, while discussing “The Tempest,” we experienced a literal tempest. Expect cold temperatures today as I’m teaching “Eve of St. Agnes.”

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

Prospero’s Magic, a Model for Fantasy Lit

“The Tempest” fits magically into a fantasy course.

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Father Moved through Dooms of Love

At my father’s memorial service, we read poems by e.e. cummings, Shakespeare, Jacques Prévert, and my father himself.

Posted in Bates (Scott), cummings (e.e.), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , | 9 Comments

Shakespeare a Lifeline for Those in Prison

A copy of Shakespeare’s works that circulated through apartheid-era prisons shows the Bard providing solace for the prisoners.

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Hell Is Empty and All the Devils Are Here

“Sandy” conjures up for me a traumatic childhood reading experience along with a passage from “The Tempest.”

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

Lit Featured in Olympic Ceremonies

The opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics were rich in literary allusions.

Posted in Blake (William), Shakespeare (William) | 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

Shakespeare with a Smart Phone

The plays would have been different if Shakespeare’s characters had had access to social media.

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The Bard’s Business Advice

Later today I’m going to be interviewed, along with my son Darien, by Boomer Alley Radio.  As producer Sharon Glassman described it to me, this is “a weekly hour-long show of upbeat, useful information that airs on the CBS news affiliate in LA, across Colorado and nationally via podcast.” Finding a post I had written […]

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The Bard Weighs in on the Election

One curious aspect of this very loud election season has been that the two largest political rallies were staged by entertainers: Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally of August 29 and John Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” this past Saturday. A rightwing pundit and two liberal comedians (one of them who […]

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Spanish Yin, Dutch Yang, and Shakespeare

The commentators called it an ugly game, but I found something compelling about Spain’s victory over the Netherlands in yesterday’s World Cup final. And after all, regardless of what happened earlier in the game, how can one argue when the winning goal–and a beautifully struck ball at that–occurs just minutes before the end of overtime? […]

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On Elves and a Botched Love Letter

Since I’ve been writing a lot about the longing for lost innocence in the past few weeks, I’ll share a couple of personal stories about the subject.  Included are a traumatic creative writing experience that drove me away forever from writing serious poetry again and a very strange moment in my courtship of the woman […]

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