Category Archives: Lee (Harper)

Mockingbird Discomfits the Wrong People

If teachers should teach controversial lit to discomfit their students, is “To Kill a Mockingbird” a good choice? There’s a problem if those most discomfited are black students.

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Foes of Mockingbird Have a Point

I’m somewhat sympathetic with the Biloxi parents who want to ban “To Kill a Mockingbird” in an 8th grade classroom. At the very least, I want it supplemented with works by writers of color.

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The President Who Loved Literature

In a remarkable interview with “The New York Times,” Barack Obama spoke about the importance of literature in his life. The range of his reading and the sensitivity of his responses is astounding.

Also posted in Bellow (Saul), Cixin (Liu), Diaz (Junot), Flynn (Gillian), Goff (Lauren), Hemingway (Ernest), Kerouac (Jack), Kerouac (Jack), Kingston (Maxine Hong), Lahiri (Jhumpa), Lessing (Doris), Mailer (Norman), Marquez (Gabriel Garcia), Morrison (Toni), Naipaul (V.S.), Robinson (Marilynne), Roth (Philip K.), Shakespeare (William), Whitehead (Colson) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama’s Problematic Allusion to Atticus

In his farewell speech, Obama quoted Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In light of the white backlash against having had a black president, however, the Atticus Finch of “Go Set a Watchman comes to mind, making Obama’s allusion seem a bit weak.

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Toni Morrison: White Panic Led to Trump

As Toni Morrison sees it, William Faulkner’s observations about white panic go a long way toward explaining Trump’s victory.

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#TrumpBookReports (in 140 characters)

For laughs, check out #TrumpBookReport on twitter. I’ve gathered some of the best renditions of Trump reviewing the classics.

Also posted in Bemelmans (Ludwig), Bronte (Charlotte), Bronte (Emily), Carroll (Lewis), Cervantes (Miguel de), Dickens (Charles), Dostoevsky (Fyodor), Dr. Seuss, Hawthorne (Nathaniel), Hemingway (Ernest), Homer, Hugo (Victor), Lewis (C. S.), Melville (Herman), Milne (A. A.), Rowling (J. K.), Salinger (J. D.), Shakespeare (William), Silverstein (Shel), Steinbeck (John), Stowe (Harriet Beecher), Styron (William), Tolstoy (Leo) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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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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