Monthly Archives: July 2016

Chelsea’s Books and Female Ambition

Chelsea Clinton revealed that she talked to her parents about Madeleine L’Engle’s “Wrinkle in Time” and watched the mini-series of “Pride and Prejudice” with her mother. Both feature strong heroines but also show these heroines to be confined to traditionally female roles.

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Implore His Aid, in His Decisions Rest

The famous passage from Ecclesiastes–“All is vanity”–inspired a great poem by Samuel Johnson. Johnson’s final conclusion is that we can find happiness only in prayer.

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Wishing Hillary Godspeed

What are we to make of these charismatic men like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama supporting Hillary? I offer up Thomas Hardy and James Baldwin references to advance different interpretations.

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We Shall Not Look Upon His Like Again

Obama’s speech passing the baton to Hillary Clinton last night brings to mind a passage from “Hamlet.”

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Like Citizen Kane, Trump Lacks Substance

Why is “Citizen Kane” Donald Trump’s favorite film? Perhaps because he likes the way that the film glamorizes a narcissist like himself. We need to be careful about falling into this fascination, however. Such people make neither good journalists nor good presidents.

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Donald Trump as Citizen Kane

Donald Trump’s favorite film is “Citizen Kane.” Is he drawing on Kane’s campaign for governor in his demonization of Hillary Clinton?

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Stephen Gosson: Unhinged by Lit

Stephen Gosson, a 17th century Puritan and failed playwright, unloads virtually every poet revered in the 17th century. Though we dismiss his words today, they anticipated contemporary attacks on literature/

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Emily Dickinson’s “Smart Misery” of Doubt

Emily Dickinson struggled with religious doubt all of her life. Because she desperately wanted to belief, some of her poems show her faith being tested.

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The Mental Benefits of Forest Walking

Recent brain research notes that walking amongst trees is a powerful antidote to depression. Wordsworth knew this long ago.

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