Bradbury on the Joy of Writing

How long has it been since you wrote a story where your real love or your real hatred somehow got onto the paper? When was the last time you dared release a cherished prejudice so it slammed the page like a lighting bolt? What are the best things and the worst things in your life,…

David Hart on Tolkien and Politics

David Hart quotes from a letter Tolkien wrote to his son: My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning the abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs)—or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate real of England and…

Stories that Create Children

Newsom explores the genre of the prose introduction of Job and settles on a “didactic tale,” drawing off of elements of fairytale as well as prophetic/parabolic tales. She interacts with Susan Suleiman’s work Authoritarian Fiction, who notes that didactic literature “infantilizes the reader.” Newsom explains: “The subject position that didactic narratives offer the reader of…

Havering to You

haver [ˈheɪvə]vb (intr) Brit1. to dither2. Scot and northern English dialect to talk nonsense; babblen(usually plural) Scot nonsense[of unknown origin] “And if I haver yeah I know I’m gonna be/I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you.”

Falling and Singing

“When I fall into the abyss, I go straight into it, head down and heels up, and I’m even pleased that I’m falling in just such a humiliating position, and for me I find it beautiful. And so in that very shame I suddenly begin a hymn.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky HT: Remy Wilkins

Doing the Math of Mercy

Taught on Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman this morning, and the role that the past plays in the present is haunting. Willy Loman is exhausted, worn down by a life of misdirection, misunderstanding, and failure. He followed a dream, and the dream let him down. The story traces (indirectly) Willy Loman’s life from a…

Lewis, Stories, and Imagination

I just finished reading The Silver Chair out loud to my son. We have one more to go before finishing the Chronicles of Narnia series. It’s taken a bit longer to get through this one as we started it before our move several months ago. And with sicknesses, new schedules, and everything else, it’s taken…

Who’s the Human?

My wife pointed out this morning that in many ways the Frankenstein creature is far more human than his creator, Victor Frankenstein. The creature longs for human society, friendship, community, virtue, etc. Victor on the other hand is this reclusive scientist bent on knowledge and glory, and then even after his experiment goes horribly wrong,…

Frankenstein on Individualism

Frankenstein’s creature explains his realization of his monstrosity: “I was, besides, endued with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not even of the same nature as man. I was more agile than they and could subsist upon a coarser diet; I bore the extremes of heat and cold with less injury to my…

Elizabeth on Father Foxe

Queen Elizabeth was so impressed by Foxe’s Book of Martyrs that she ordered a copy of it to be chained along side the Bishops’ Bible in every cathedral church.