Monthly Archives: July 2011

Summer in the Glen

Scott Bates tells us that when we give ourselves over to the universe of which we are a part, then we escape the entrapment of self.

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Roger Clemens, Greek Tragic Hero

Roger Clemens tried to bully his Congressional interrogators the way that Oedipus bullies witnesses. To say that he should have handled himself differently is to say that he should have been a different man.

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The Debt Ceiling Goes to the Movies

Columnists have been turning to popular movies to talk about the drama of the debt ceiling debate that is currently paralyzing Congress and threatening the credit rating of the United States. The films include “Fifth Element,” “The Town,” “Cowboys and Aliens,” and “Sophie’s Choice.”

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Harry Potter’s Use of Asymmetric Warfare

In today’s post I link to two very smart articles looking at Harry Potter through the lens of the battle against terrorism and armed conflict as it is conducted in today’s world.

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Which Shakespearean Hero Is Murdoch?

So which Shakespeare hero is Rupert Murdoch? Marche floats the names of Macbeth, Hamlet, Lear, Richard II and Richard III. I’d peg him as Iago.

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Grendel as a Norwegian Christian Fascist

Apparently Anders Breivik was very well read and he mentions George Orwell, Franz Kafka, and Ayn Rand. What I find striking about them on the list is that they all articulate high levels of paranoia.

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Beware the Fury of a Patient Man

“Beware the anger of a patient man.” This line from John Dryden’s “Absolom and Architophel” occurred to me as I was listening to President Obama’s speech this past Friday. Does the poem have any predictive value when it comes to our budget impasse?

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A John Bunyan Defense of Harry Potter

Given how for years we’ve been witnessing certain evangelical Christians criticizing, banning and occasionally burning the Harry Potter books, what are we to make of their inability to appreciate Harry’s Christ-like sacrifice as the end of “The Deathly Hallows”?

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Twice Left for Dead, Japan Claws Back

Two images came to mind as I twice watched the Japanese soccer team rebound from deficits. One was from Alain’s Renais’s film “Hiroshima Mon Amour” where we see grass clawing its way back in the city streets on the day following the atom bomb. The other was of the tortoise crossing the road in “Grapes of Wrath.”

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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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