Ever think about all the art that has been lost? Beowulf comes out of an oral tradition of scops singing from a trove of texts. We have this manuscript, which fortunately survived the fitting-yet-sad fire at Ashburnham House, but what about all the other poems? Or what about all the ephemeral moments when a scop arranged … More Kept with Fonder a Care
You know the movement to make traditional bad guys good in children’s stories, or to at least give their side of the story. When I was a boisterous oddly serious public school lad, I remember a story that had recast the big bad wolf as a hapless neighbor who only wanted sugar from his selfish … More The Big Bad Wraecca
Why do we enjoy tragedies? Why is there something almost pleasant about an elegy. We watch King Lear, knowing that the moment will come when he carries Cordelia out. We watch Macbeth to hear “Out, out, brief candle!” I’ve noticed that I enjoy Old English poetry and the works of Thomas Hardy because they enter … More Why Do We Enjoy Suffering in Literature?
Is the novel too newfangled for you? Does the idea of human hair in mourning jewelry make your skin crawl? Are you just worn out by all that angst we still live with about industrialization, rapidly increasing technology, and the relationship between science and religion? Then maybe the Victorian list we’ve been looking at the … More Summer Reading: Medieval Edition
If, as your rich friends say, there are no gods, and the skies are dark above us, what should a man fight for, but the place where he had the Eden of childhood and the short heaven of first love? If no temples and no scriptures are sacred, what is sacred if a man’s own … More The Ten Things I’ll Miss Most about Oregon
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is about the books we would like to see adapted as movies. I have to admit that this one was surprisingly difficult because each time I thought of something that would be an amazing movie, I realized that it had already been done. 1. The … More Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Love to See as Movies