Monthly Archives: June 2017

Green Knight’s Lessons for Doctors

An essay I received on “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” from a pre-med student has me thinking of the poem’s useful lessons for doctors. There are several.

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Women Who Refuse To Be Broken

There are certain poets who appear indomitable and, in their confident affirmations of life, inspire the rest of us. Lucille Clifton was one of these poets.

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Trapped in an Emergency Room

When a friend found herself suddenly trapped in a large metropolitan emergency room, Nabokov’s short story “Cloud, Castle, Lake” came to mind. It’s about a man who wants to leave travel tour and is prevented.

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Lincoln Transformed Depression thru Lit

Melancholy threatened to paralyze Abraham Lincoln in his early years. Literature helped him give voice to his depression and taught him how to turn it into an asset.

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Candide & the GOP’s Tax Obsession

The GOP’s obsession with tax cuts reminds me of the Baron’s obsession with his lineage in Voltaire’s “Candide.” No matter how much reality changes, he always insists on this one thing.

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Be Wide as the Air To Learn a Secret

In “Bismallah!” (“In the Name of God!”), Rumi speaks of the lightness of spirit that Ramadan makes possible.

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Lit Comforts an ALS Sufferer

This past March an ALS sufferer spoke eloquently, shortly before her death, about how she turned to Sophocles, Kafka, and Shakespeare for comfort.

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Great Pro-War Literature Doesn’t Exist

In which I argue that great pro-war literature doesn’t exist, including “The iliad” and “War and Peace.” (Both works are magnificent; I just don’t see them as pro-war.)

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Watching McConnell Destroy Healthcare

Wednesday It’s so strange watching Mitch McConnell crafting a healthcare bill under a cloud of secrecy at the same time that everybody pretty much knows about the consequent disasters, beginning with the 20+ million who will lose healthcare. I feel like I’m in the position of the God and Jesus in Paradise Lost as they […]

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