Category Archives: Sophocles

Mueller Is Our Delphic Oracle

Thursday Robert Mueller resembles an oracle more and more with each passing day. By this I mean he makes elliptical pronouncements that frustrate people desiring a clearer statement. Trump critics hoped Mueller would forthrightly state that (a) yes, the president and his campaign encouraged and applauded Russia’s 2016 election attack and (b) that Trump has […]

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Cataract Surgery: See Better, Lear

Thursday I am undergoing a second cataract surgery today and so am reposting the essay I wrote following my first (successful) surgery. I don’t expect to re-experience the same mixed feelings that I described two years ago, but dramas that feature sharp objects poked into people’s eyes still seem relevant. This essay is not for […]

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Will Odysseus Shape 2020 Election?

Monday I won’t take credit for this but Washington Post’s Molly Roberts recently penned a very Better-Living-with Beowulf type column where she contrasted two Democratic presidential candidates by examining which version of the Odysseus/Ulysses story they prefer. Her piece gives me an excuse to apply other versions of the story to various 2020 contenders. Roberts […]

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Through Lit, We Learn Compassion

Tuesday My brother Sam, an enthusiastic Unitarian Universalist, gave me Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life for Christmas, and I was pleased that the author sees literature playing a major role. In today’s post I share how she draws on the ancient Greeks. Armstrong writes, “All faiths insist that compassion is the test […]

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The Stories We Tell Our Robots

My sons have a podcast–“The Stories We Tell Our Robots”–which links literature with such developments as bitcoin, chatbots, airline pricing, and the like. Their rating system ranges from utopia to apocalypse.

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Act in All Things as Love Will Prompt

My lectures on Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, Shakespeare and Sophocles all seem to track back to Lent these days.

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My Dinner with Mladen

An account of a dinner with an old Slovenian friend and intellectual.

Also posted in Beckett (Samuel), Marivaux (Pierre de), Plato, Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anger in Ancient Greek Works

A new book looks at how the ancient Greeks approached the issue of anger in works such as “Iliad,” “Ajax,” and “Hecuba.

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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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