Finding Yourself

“Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am.”  ~Arthur Miller, from Death of a Salesman In Chapter 8 of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me, Karen Swallow Prior tells the story of the […]

Know Thyself: Day 2

Death Of A Salesman Arthur Miller ““Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am.”  Self-idolatry takes many forms, including (surprisingly) depression.  When a person’s focus and purpose is based on themselves, it’s […]

Know Thyself

“Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am.”  ~Arthur Miller, from Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is the tragic story of Willy Loman, a man destroyed by […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 2

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Chapter 7 of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me deals with symbols, including specifically their relation to sex.  Here we find the dangerous divide between imagined and real freedom.  The […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 1

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” This week we look to Jonathan Swift and his masterwork Gulliver’s Travels.  The story is familiar, but widely misunderstood.  Like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the sanitized and highly abridged version consumed by […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 5

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy ‘Forgive me as you are forgiven! I forgive YOU, Angel.’                              ‘You—yes, you do.’ ‘But you do not forgive me?’                                                                                   ‘O Tess, forgiveness does not apply to the case! You were one person;  now you are another. My God—how can forgiveness meet such a grotesque-prestidigitation as that!’                                                                                                         He […]

Beholding is Becoming: Day 4

Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”  Rejection is tough at any age but it is especially painful in adolescence.  At a time when peer pressure is an overwhelming force, young people will often do things outside of […]

The Magic Of Story: Day 5

Great Expectations Charles Dickens After I had turned the worse point of my illness, I began to notice that while all its other features changed, this one consistent feature did not change. Whoever came about me, still settled down into Joe. I opened my eyes in the day, and, sitting on the window-seat, smoking his […]

The Magic Of Story: Day 3

Great Expectations Charles Dickens Is it a very wicked place?” I asked, more for the sake of saying something than for information. “You may get cheated, robbed, and murdered in London. But there are plenty of people anywhere, who’ll do that for you.” “If there is bad blood between you and them,” said I, to […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 4

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 3

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 2

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 1

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]