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A Rule of Storytelling and Unhappiness

As my friend began reading William Morris’s News From Nowhere, or, An Epic of Rest, I thought I might take that journey too–and the existence of an audio recording guaranteed it. (Plus, what a great damn subtitle to entice a guy like me!) I’ve only just started, just now finishing Chapter 5 on this morning’s […]

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**UPDATED**In Contradiction Against Itself: The CIA and The Government

UPDATED: 5/21 [I've added one example of Slahi's book as an illustration of the Report on Torture--there are many others I may add later.] Last night on Interchange (The State of Terror: Guantanamo Diary) the conversation centered on the literary nature of Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary.  Guest Scott Korb has written about the Diary as […]

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If You Really Want to Know the Truth: Salinger’s Influence on Mohamedou Ould Slahi

I am reading Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary. Well, actually, listening to it. You can find out a lot about it at The Guardian website dedicated to it. Something I heard and noticed I have listened to about half of the book and I had heard Slahi say this: Meanwhile, I kept getting books in […]

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Soldier-Sentimentalist-Poet

Two snippets from Ford’s The Good Soldier (1924). The word “sentimental” or some form of it occurs 28 times in the novel–a use for big data! ************ For all good soldiers are sentimentalists—all good soldiers of that type. Their profession, for one thing, is full of the big words, courage, loyalty, honour, constancy. And I […]

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The Argument of Arms

Here is the opening of an essay by the Australian poet A.D. Hope called “The Argument of Arms.” It is collected in his 1974 book of essays, The Cave and the Spring. I imagine Melville located something of Ahab in Marlowe’s Tamburlaine as well as Shakespeare’s Coriolanus…both “poets” of power. Pay close attention–this “is the […]

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Audio: Walden “Economy” B

Audio: Walden “Economy” B

I’m not sure how to label these so I’ll just use the alphabet to keep them in order. This recording sounds different than the last (more tinny, big-roomy)–my production values aren’t my highest priority at present. So, to continue chapter one of Walden, “Economy”–here’s about 13 more minutes. Walden Economy-B When we consider what, to […]

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12 Minutes of Walden

12 Minutes of Walden

To begin reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. (Apologies for my Latin.) AUDIO FILE: Walden-Economy-A ECONOMY WHEN I WROTE the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, […]

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To Act, or Not to Act

The final section (XII) of Harold Goddard’s essay on Coriolanus found in his brilliant book The Meaning of Shakespeare screws a brilliant reading to the sticking place (to steal a line from Lady M.). Basically, Goddard wants you to think on the last acts of Hamlet and Coriolanus and measure them as representative of human wisdom–or […]

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The Great American Anything

Here is a parody of the idea of “The Great American Anything” offered by the character Jerusalem Webster Stiles (who is the “devil” to John Shawnessy’s “Faust”) in Ross Lockridge, Jr.’s Raintree County. One should be aware that Lockridge’s novel was his considered entry into the “GAN” (Great American Novel) sweepstakes. The cynicism of Stiles […]

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The Great Lawsuit (Audio)

This is the essay that led to Fuller’s longer treatment on the Rights of Women titled Woman in the 19th Century.  ”The Great Lawsuit” (linked full text) appeared as an essay in The Dial (#4) in 1843, edited by Fuller’s friend in Transcendentalism and epistolary exchange Ralph Waldo Emerson. Here is the audio file in 3 […]

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Explanation and Example: Capitalist Nationalism

**Reformist consciousness was famously described by Gramsci as “dual” or “contradictory”; on the one hand accepting the permanence of the […]

Building the Insanity In: Ex Machina

This is not a movie review. This is me thinking about empathy. Last night, lonely little ol’ me sat in […]

Dislodged Giant: Can We Use Stevens to Interpret Dickinson?

You tell me. “I thought that nature was enough” by Emily Dickinson I thought that nature was enough Till Human […]

By Metaphor Alone

Motivation matters. If the scientific method (which we make into the massive all-encompassing abstraction of SCIENCE to compete with the […]

By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter […]

Now You Know What A Horse Is: Views On Education in the 19th Century

Schools are scenes of extreme manipulation and coercion. Our national and state interest in them is less than benign, or […]