Category Archives: Sophocles

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.

Posted in Sophocles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Also posted in Baldwin (James), O'Connor (Flannery), Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Also posted in Beowulf Poet, Euripides, Homer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Also posted in Kafka (Franz), Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Cataract Surgery Recalls Oedipus, Lear

Recent cataract surgery had me recalling all those literary passages where sharp objects get poked into people’s eyes. The real drama, however, was renegotiating my professional identity.

Also posted in Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lit Opens Minds to Suffering of the Other

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues that literature is essential for creating good citizens in a diverse society, turning to Sophocles’s “Philoctetes” and Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” to make her point.

Also posted in Aurelius (Marcus), Ellison (Ralph) | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Solace for Vets from Sophocles

A group has been giving dramatic readings of Sophocles plays in order to reach veterans suffering from PTSD. The results have been astonishing.

Posted in Sophocles | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Panicked by Trump? Turn to Lit

As Trump panic starts to set in, pundits are turning to literature to get an understanding of how it has all happened. This past week saw references to “Oedipus,” “Frankenstein,” “War and Peace,” and “Slaughterhouse Five.”

Also posted in Tolstoy (Leo), Vonnegut (Kurt) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

  • AVAILABLE NOW!

  • 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.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!