Author Archives: Robin Bates

The Bard Understood Race in a Deep Way

Shakespeare understood race at a deep level, whiteness and blackness both. In “Titus Andronicus” a character declares that Black is beautiful.

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Margaret Atwood on the Cicada Love Song

Atwood’s “Cicadas” depicts the sexual urges that drive the insect.

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Trump, Quixote, and Windmills

Both Trump and Don Quixote have an animus against windmills. The resemblances end there, however.

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Pentecost in Narnia

There’s a Pentecostal scene in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” that captures the excitement of the Holy Spirit’s descent.

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René Girard on What Lit Can Teach Us

Philosophical anthropologist René Girard owes his ideas about mimetic desire to literature.

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To Be Trump’s VP, Leap and Creep

The competition to be Trump’s VP resembles the stick leaping and crawling contest in Lilliput.

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Alice Munro, R.I.P.

Alice Munro, who died yesterday, explored themes of survival in everyday settings.

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Does Clockwork Orange Describe Us?

The novella Clockwork Orange captures the process of fascist conditioning, such as we are seeing carried out by Putin on swatches of the GOP.

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Trump, Stormy, and The Waste Land

The Stormy Daniels-Trump encounter resembles the sordid sex scene found in T.S. Eliot’s “Waste Land.”

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