Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 5

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.” Satire is at once funny and uncomfortable.  G.K. Chesterton said “A man is angry at a libel because it is false, but at a satire because it is true.” As Karen […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 4

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.” Mother Teresa said “Some people come into your life as blessings, some come as lessons.” We smile at that because we have all had to deal with difficult people and many lessons have been […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 3

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.” Maya Angelou said “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”  This sounds like common sense but many relationships fail because they were founded on the basis of […]

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 […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 4

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy ‘I cannot help associating your decline as a family with this other fact—of your want of firmness. Decrepit families imply decrepit wills, decrepit conduct. Heaven, why did you give me a handle for despising you more by informing me of your descent! Here was I thinking you a new-sprung […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 2

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy If an offense come out of the truth, better is it that the offense come than that the truth be concealed. College years have always been a challenge to young people.  The newness of independent living combined with an environment designed to stretch their understanding and awareness is often […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 1

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy . . . he now began to discredit the old appraisements of morality. He thought they wanted readjusting. Who was the moral man? Still more pertinently, who was the moral woman? The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and […]

Beholding is Becoming: Day 5

Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë He was the first to recognize me, and to love what he saw. What does it mean to find your voice?  Among other things, the phrase has come to mean to expression of one’s true self.  It is no simple task.  For many, the path to discovery is through expressive writing.  […]

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 […]

Beholding is Becoming: Day 2

Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë “Mr. Rochester, I no more assign this fate to you than I grasp at it for myself. We were born to strive and endure – you as well as I: do so. You will forget me before I forget you.” Centuries ago, children were considered grown whenever they could reproduce.  There […]

Beholding is Becoming: Day 1

Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. This week we turn our attention to Charlotte Brontë’s classic nineteenth century novel Jane Eyre. First published in 1847, the book follows the life of an orphan who learns the value 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: Day 5

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; […]

The Life Giving Power Of Words: Day 5

Charlotte’s Web E.B. White You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping […]

The Life Giving Power Of Words: Day 4

Charlotte’s Web E.B. White Ever since the spider had befriended him, he had done his best to live up to his reputation. When Charlotte’s web said SOME PIG, Wilbur had tried hard to look like some pig. When Charlotte’s web said TERRIFIC, Wilbur had tried to look terrific. And now that the web said RADIANT, […]