Monthly Archives: July 2010

Using Beowulf to Defend Lebron

Sports Saturday Lebron James has been taking a lot of heat recently for joining the Miami basketball team. (Did you catch the pun?) This past trading season was termed “the Lebron Sweepstakes,” and teams from around the country trekked to Cleveland to play court to “King James.” James made the occasion particularly gaudy by persuading […]

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At Films Abroad, Why Do I Laugh Alone?

Film Friday Vic: What film are we talking about?
 Lin: Does it matter what film?
 Vic: Of course it does.
 Lin: You choose then.  Friday night.  Not in a foreign language, ok.  You don’t go to the movies to read.                                […]

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Moments of Perfect Being

Today we head home after having spent a delicious week in our Maine cottage with our sons Darien and Toby, along with our daughter-in-law Betsy and Toby’s girlfriend Candice.  We immersed ourselves in memory and tradition while we were here.  Portraits of my great-great grandparents John and Remember Berry Swett, are on the wall, as […]

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Gripped by a Tyrannical Love

Since I am vacationing in Maine and spent time yesterday with my favorite cousin, who is a huge Edward Arlington Robinson fan, I devote a post to the state’s greatest poet.  Whenever I visit Dan Bates in Gardiner, we have to visit Robinson’s grave and look at his house. My favorite Robinson poem is “Eros […]

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Mama Grizzly vs. Real Grizzlies

Sarah Palin has been recently celebrating “Mama Grizzlies”—by which I think she means “women who are so mad that they’re not going to take it anymore.” But has anyone noticed that she advocates policies that make life a lot harder for actual grizzlies? Whether through calling for drilling in the Alaskan National Reserve, denying the […]

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Blaming Loved Ones in the Face of Death

Edvard Munch, The Sick Child  Imagine the following situation. A couple has been married for decades but now he has contracted a terminal illness and is dying. His wife has always prided herself on being there for him when he needed her, but now she feels helpless. Meanwhile he is scared and angry and is […]

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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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