Monthly Archives: February 2013

Grapes of Wrath, Still Relevant

Life today is a far cry from the Great Depression, but Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” is still relevant.

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Maugham Describes Sequester Politics

On the sequester, the GOP has been acting like the passive-aggressive Somerset Maugham character Louise.

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America’s Heart of Darkness Beginnings

America’s bloody beginnings are part of who we still are.

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The White Liberal in Civil Rights Lit

White Liberals suffer a downward spiral in 1960’s Civil Rights Literature, from heroic Atticus Finch to “Radical Chic” Leonard Bernstein.

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How to Imagine Peace

For Levertov, peace is made in the act of imagining it.

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Beauty Is a Perfect Fast Break

Edward Hirsch’s “Fast Break” captures the seamless beauty of a perfect fast break.

Posted in Hirsch (Edward) | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Rightwing Media’s School for Scandal

The gossipy Mrs. Candour in Sheridan’s “School for Scandal” today would be a member of the rightwing media.

Posted in Sheridan (Richard) | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Jane Austen and the Ethics of Care

Austen’s Emma demonstrates an ethics of care–but only for people in her own class.

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

Langston Hughes, Profound Conversations

Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son” opened up a profound conversation with our building’s housekeeping staff.

Posted in Eliot (T.S.), Hughes (Langston) | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments


  • 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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