Monthly Archives: October 2012

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) | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hurricanes Make Us All Poor, Infirm, Weak

The onslaught of Hurricane Sandy reminds us of King Lear’s storm experience.

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mitt Minderbinder, Cynicism Unlimited

Mitt Romney would find a kindred soul in Joseph Heller’s cynical entrepreneur Milo Minderbinder.

Posted in Heller (Joseph) | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

A Vast Unfolding Design Lit by a Risen Sun

Denise Levertov wrestled with God’s relationship to evil in the world.

Posted in Levertov (Denise) | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Giants Stand Tall, Defy Ezra Pound

The San Francisco Giants would make their 1960’s forebears proud.

Posted in Ferlinghetti (Lawrence) | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Environmentalist’s Revenge Fantasy

Scott Bates proves an environmentalist’s revenge fantasy against those violating the earth.

Posted in Bates (Scott) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Steinbeck on Why the Rich Are Unhappy

Steinbeck and the Beowulf poet both point out that piling up wealth does not lead to happiness.

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Heller (Joseph), Steinbeck (John), Vonnegut (Kurt) | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Holden Would Say about Mitt

Holden Caulfield would definitely apply his favorite word to Mitt Romney.

Posted in Salinger (J. D.) | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Serving Students a Jane Austen High Tea

Serving my students a Jane Austen high tea made the novels come alive.

Posted in Austen (Jane) | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


  • 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.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!