Tag Archives: King Lear

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 […]

Posted in James (Marlon), Shakespeare (William), Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We Watching Shakespeare or Beckett?

Friday When assuring my English majors that they will find jobs in the world beyond college, I sometimes point out that they are experts in narrative. Increasingly we are learning how much we process reality through stories, and political operatives talk ceaselessly about “controlling the narrative.” How you organize facts (or for that matter, lies) […]

Posted in Beckett (Samuel), Doyle (Arthur Conan), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Endings Reveal Meaning of Life?

Monday My wife Julia alerted me to an intriguing although somewhat frustrating article in Atlantic about the end of time. Drawing on Frank Kermode’s 1967 The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction, Megan Garber wrestles with an issue recently raised by The Washington Post: how do we live with constant reminders […]

Posted in Shakespeare (William), Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lit as a Survival Toolkit

Thursday Friend and occasional guest blogger Carl Rosin alerted me to a heartfelt Commonweal article by an English professor describing how literature helped her confront and work through childhood abuse. Cassandra Nelson’s difficult history leads to some remarkable insights into trigger warnings, which she opposes. Nelson’s view on trigger warnings is pretty much my own […]

Posted in Dante, Diaz (Junot), Julian of Norwich, Morrison (Toni), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Incel Killer and an English Major

Maura Binkley was an English major killed by an incel killer in a Tallahassee yoga studio. Her department chair turned to Shakespeare in his grief.

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What Lit Is Good For–A Debate

Thursday Tim Parks has written a provocative essay for The New York Review of Books, asking, Is literature wise? In the sense, does it help us to live? And if not, what exactly is it good for? If you follow this blog, you already know my answers: –Yes, literature is wiser than we are (and […]

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Flaubert (Gustave), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Battered by a Raging Stormy

Stormy Daniels’s power over Donald Trump brings to mind various literary storms, such as Lear’s and those described by Mary Oliver and H.D.

Posted in Doolittle (Hilda), Oliver (Mary), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grieving for a Loved One

Someone I love very dearly has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I turn to “Sonny’s Blues” and “King Lear” to find adequate words.

Posted in Baldwin (James), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Corruption Starts at the Top

The spread of Trumpian corruption is an instance of the fish rotting from the top. “King Lear” shows this process at work.

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

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