Tag Archives: Literature

The most pathetic thing I’ve read

I belong to a book club. The members chose The Professor’s House by Willa Cather as our book for December. Tonight I put down the book I was reading and began this one. It opens with a university professor named … Continue reading

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Lord Jim and Conrad: one of us

Marlow repeatedly refers to Jim as, “one of us.” Why does Conrad find this so important? If Jim is “one of us,” does Conrad believe that we (us) have a reservoir of maturity that we keep hidden from ourselves, which … Continue reading

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Catching 8-foot long sharks by hand

Thor Heyerdahl risked all by crossing  3,770 nautical miles of Pacific Ocean—without escort—in a balsa wood raft with five men to prove that the Polynesians could have descended from people originally living in what is now Peru. And to make … Continue reading

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A parallel story in my Picture of Dorian Gray

I read a used copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray in which the previous owner underlined only passages of little importance, and felt it unimportant to underline anything that actually is. It’s as if that reader entirely missed the … Continue reading

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Don’t watch The Last of the Mohicans—Read it

Last night I did what I should not: watched a bad movie based on a great book. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper is a novel about friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, honor, race and family. The movie is … Continue reading

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Dying for love: Joyce versus Hemingway

How do you feel after reading “The Dead” in James Joyce’s Dubliners? The character, Gabriel, appears to feel he’ll forever compete with his wife, Gretta’s memory of her first love—a boy named Michael Furey who died at age 17—for Joyce writes, … Continue reading

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The Professional

Beyond the story of a boxer, his trainer and a magazine writer, The Professional is about keeping true to your ideals and not accepting mediocrity. Read it and you’ll never look at life, boxers and boxing the same. The Professional got my attention … Continue reading

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