Monthly Archives: October 2015

Sir Gawain and Celtic Spirituality

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” may represent the clash between two strains of Christianity which today we describe as Dominionism and Green Christianity. The 14th century poem definitely comes down on the green side.

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The Bard Does Halloween

In honor of Halloween, check out what Shakespeare had to say about ghosts. When his graves yawn and yield up their dead, they produce apparitions that are genuinely frightening.

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Style, Not Truth, the Important Thing

Truth was missing in action in the GOP’s Wednesday night debate. Oscar Wilde and John Gay would have understood.

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Cruz as Beowulf? Try Grendel

Thursday Normally I would be delighted with a New York Times article that matched up presidential candidates with works of literature, such as Ted Cruz with Beowulf, Hillary Clinton with Persuasion, and Bernie Sanders with Around the World in 80 Days. This piece, however, strikes me as so uninformative that it’s all but useless. I’ve tried […]

Posted in Austen (Jane), Beowulf Poet, Dickens (Charles), Hardy (Thomas), Twain (Mark), Verne (Jules) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For a Rich Life, Read Widely and Freely

Literature impacts our lives but the influence is best if we read a wide variety of works. Limiting ourselves to just a few authors can warp us.

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Lit vs. the Evils of History–More Debate

While literature can seem helpless in the face of history’s cataclysms, it proves far more durable than the events that seem to overwhelm it.

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The Maple’s Annual Striptease

Scott Bates describes the trees undergoing a months-long striptease in “Maple Dance.”

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Hearing the Sound of Roses Singing

For Mary Oliver, going into the woods and paying attention to nature is a form of prayer.

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Can Lit Also Be a Force for Evil? A Debate

The classics are capable to doing great good but can they also do harm? Even as they powerfully open up the mind to new possibilities, can they also close it down? A debate.

Posted in Aristotle, Austen (Jane), Plato, Shelley (Percy), Sidney (Sir Philip) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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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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