Monthly Archives: February 2016

Tolstoy and the Forerunners of Twitter

Before there were people sending tweets about the important developments of the day, there was witty repartee in European salons. We get a taste of such banter from Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.

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Panicked by Trump? Turn to Lit

As Trump panic starts to set in, pundits are turning to literature to get an understanding of how it has all happened. This past week saw references to “Oedipus,” “Frankenstein,” “War and Peace,” and “Slaughterhouse Five.”

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The Joads & Steinbeck’s Lenten Message

“The Grapes of Wrath” has a Lenten message with the Joad family lost in the wilderness, led by the Moses/Jesus figure Jim Casy. After Casy is killed, Tom Joad becomes the apostle who takes his vision of a transcendent humankind to the wider world.

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Lewis Carroll Describes the Caucus Races

The Nevada and Iowa Caucuses were chaotic affairs. Caucus races are no less chaotic in “Alice in Wonderland” and it is just as difficult to declare a winner.

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Raymond Carver & Trump’s Enablers

Raymond Carver’s chilling story “Why, Honey?” captures the dread inspired by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency. It also captures the enabling behavior that led to Trump’s rise in the first place.

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History’s Zigzagging Narratives

This Stephen Dunn points out how we see history as a series of narratives. Sometimes our heroes are those “too unhappy to be reasonable.”

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