Monthly Archives: December 2018

The Meaning of Hell

Spiritual Sunday Stephen Greenblatt, the world’s preeminent Shakespearean, has an article about hell in the latest issue of the New York Review of Books that has me thinking about a subject I generally avoid. It’s a smart piece but fairly grim.  For the most part, my view of hell is the one set forth in […]

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Philosophy Needs Literature

Friday The other day Eva Bahovec, a good friend who teaches in Ljubljana’s philosophy department, had me meet with two students preparing to write Women’s Studies dissertations. Although philosophy and Women’s Studies are not my areas of expertise, Bogdan Repič and Polonca Mesec want their studies to have a literary component, which is where I […]

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Among Slovenian School Children

A visit to an 8th grade English class in Slovenia had me thinking of Yeats’s “Among School Children and appreciating the educational process.

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Incoming Judge Cites Maya Angelou

Sugman Suggs, the latest member of Slovenia’s constitutional court, cited Maya Angelou in her acceptance speech. The passage was very appropriate.

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H. W. Bush’s “War and Peace” Lessons

“War and Peace” was the late H. W. Bush’s favorite novel. Perhaps he imitated Gen. Kutuzov by withdrawing from Iraq after winning.

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Balzac’s Gobseck Understands Trump

Balzac’s dazzling novella “Gobseck” finds the measure of the Trumps and other billionaires who sell out the nation.

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At Once a Voice Arose

Although Hardy was agnostic, “Darkling Thrush functions as a powerful Advent poem, with the longing for light in a world without faith.

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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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