Tag Archives: Alexander Dumas

Reading Montaigne While Confined

In “Gentleman in Moscow,” the count turns to “Robinson Crusoe” to figure out how to survive. Reading Montaigne is a mixed bag.

Posted in Cervantes, Defoe (Daniel), Dumas (Alexander), Montaigne (Michel de), Towles (Amor) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Which Narrative Fits Mueller’s Report?

Monday Two weeks ago I had an interesting interchange with reader Josh Grumet about which narrative would emerge once Robert Mueller submitted his report. While I said that liberals and NeverTrumpers were rooting for a Sherlock Holmes  ending, I feared we would end up with a Samuel Beckett non-conclusion. Josh, meanwhile, compared Trump supporters to […]

Posted in Beckett (Samuel), Clark (Walter Van Tilburg), Dumas (Alexander), Kafka (Franz), Lee (Harper) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When You’re Sick, Call the Musketeers

I seldom get sick but, when I do, I become a wimp. Generally my illnesses take the form of stabbing sinus pain, and I retreat into a cocoon of misery and imagine myself about to die. As is appropriate for my melodramatic self pity, my mind invariably fixates upon a literary scene composed during France’s […]

Posted in Dumas (Alexander) | Also tagged , | Comments closed

My Three Sons and the Mystic Power of 3

  Yesterday I was talking to my wife about our children—who, at 27 and 25, I admit are no longer children.  Being the proud parents that we are, we were noting with wonder how they are identifying their gifts, building upon their strengths, and developing into fully self-actualized human beings.  As we talked, however, we […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

The Magic World of Children’s Lit

William Kristof, the much traveled Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, wrote recently about the disturbing way that children’s IQ scores often drop over summer vacation. The cause is lack of intellectual stimulation. The problem is more severe with poor than it is with middle class kids. As an antidote, Kristof offered […]

Posted in Berna (Paul), Burnett (Francis Hodgson), Carroll (Lewis), Day-Lewis (Cecil), Doyle (Arthur Conan), Dumas (Alexander), Homer, Kipling (Rudyard), Lewis (C. S.), MacDonald (George), Milne (A. A.), Nesbitt (E.), Orczy (The Baroness Emmuska), Tolkien (J.R.R.), Verne (Jules), White (T.H.) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed


  • 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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