Tag Archives: Ulysses

The Sexual Politics of Circe-Odysseus

Miller’s novel “Circe” engages with a long tradition of Circe and Odysseus depictions, including those of Homer, Virgil, Euripides, Sophocles, Dante, Tennyson, and Atwood.

Posted in Atwood (Margaret), Dante, Euripides, Miller (Madeline), Sophocles, Tennyson (Alfred Lord) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Biden’s Love for James Joyce

Joe Biden’s favorite poet is Seamus Heaney, his favorite fiction writer James Joyce. While he expresses admiration for “Ulysses,” I think he might prefer “Dubliners.”

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Mentor: Rare for Sons to Be Like Fathers

Homer explores the difficulty of a young man living up to his famous father. It’s a problem that continues with fathers and sons.

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Is Old Age Becoming Overrated?

A “New Yorker” article on aging turns to literature to debunk the notion that aging is a good thing.

Posted in Aristotle, Bogan (Louise), Chaucer (Geoffrey), Johnson (Samuel), Plato, Shakespeare (William), Swift (Jonathan), Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Whitman (Walt), Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fathers & Sons: He Goes His Way, I Mine

Wednesday The talk with my son that I described in Monday’s post reminded me of talks with my own father where I was sure he was wrong. I’ve since concluded that I was not as right as I thought I was and that our disagreements came down to our different life arcs. Our arguments came […]

Posted in Beckett (Samuel), Johnson (Samuel), Pascal (Blaise), Sartre (Jean Paul), Tennyson (Alfred Lord) | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 […]

Posted in Homer, Joyce (James), Sophocles, Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Virgil | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pete Buttigieg on the Liffey

Friday If any of the Democratic presidential candidates want space on this blog before the first debate in June (I hear them clamoring now), they must mention literature. I wrote about Sherrod Brown when I discovered his love for Tolstoy (although he ultimately chose not to run), and now Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg gets a […]

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Federer, Unlike Ulysses, a Family Man Hero

Time and again with Roger Federer, thinking he is nearing his end, I have cited Tennyson’s “Ulysses.” He keeps proving me wrong. One reason may be because he has a different relationship with his family than Tennyson’s protagonist has.

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One Equal Temper of Heroic Hearts

Federer and Nadal resumed their legendary rivalry in the Australian Open finals and played a match for the ages. They are both old in tennis terms and by all rights should have been surpassed by the next generation. Therefore Tennyson’s “Ulysses” seems the proper poem to acknowledge them.

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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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