Monthly Archives: April 2009

Fighting off Sickness and Death

It may have seem incongruous, in a website featuring old works, to have started off my first blog entry with a quotation from the contemporary Laguna Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko. But I find her faith that stories have the power to “fight off sickness and death” so close to my own view that it […]

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Willow Rosenberg as Grendel’s Mother

This past year I was surprised to suddenly find myself a fan of the 1997-2003 television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It would be hard to find a television show with a wackier premise, but it somehow works. In this entry I want to draw some parallels between the show and Beowulf and, especially, between […]

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Battling with Monstrous Grief

I said in the last blog that I am kept fresh by the variety of ways that my students respond to the works that I teach. Sometimes their reactions are entirely unexpected and altogether marvelous. To make this point dramatically, I share here a Beowulf reading story. The student was a 19-year-old African American woman […]

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High Impact Literature

I will tell you something about stories, [he said] They aren’t just for entertainment. Don’t be fooled. They are all we have, you see, all we have to fight off illness and death. You don’t have anything if you don’t have the stories. Like Leslie Marmon Silko in her novel Ceremony, I believe that stories are […]

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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