Category Archives: Collins (Wilkie)

Are Dems Hampered by “Moral Claptrap”?

Wilkie Collins’s villainous Count Fosco will do whatever it takes to win–which puts him in the company of Trump and McConnell’s GOP.

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Jigsaw Order Out of Chaos

As one who specializes in 18th century British lit, I’m fascinated with how jigsaw puzzles represent order arising from chaos.

Also posted in Pope (Alexander), Swift (Jonathan), Uncategorized, Voltaire | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lit Interpretation Related to Bible Reading

Literary “close reading” can be traced back, in part, to Talmudic study of the Torah. That helps explain the significance I attach to literary interpretation.

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Robinson Crusoe Has ALL the Answers

In Wilkie Collins’s “Moonstone,” the wonderfully realized house steward resorts to “Robinson Crusoe” to face all difficulties.

Also posted in Defoe (Daniel) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


  • 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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