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Week 17: Reading Harper Lee in the time of Trump

I first read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was in my early twenties. It had been out for ten years or so, and Harper Lee's description of superstition, ignorance and institutional prejudice seemed remote - almost quaint. In the wake of the white supremacist rallies in Viriginia and videos of police officers singling out [...]

By | 2017-10-03T13:18:02+00:00 October 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Week 16: An abyss of godforsaken folly

"Only the dead have seen the end to war." George Santayana wrote this in 1922. He was responding to the idea, popular at the time, that the First World War was the war to end all wars. It was the Great War for Civilization. The war that would be over by Christmas. It wasn't any [...]

By | 2017-09-26T07:37:57+00:00 September 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Week 13: The revenge of the unlived life

Why is it so difficult to like Robertson Davies? I mean like him, as opposed to appreciating his writing, which is exceptional, his insights, which are often brilliant, and his ability to sum up a situation or individual in a few well-chosen words. When it comes to original, memorable epigrams, Davies is right up there [...]

By | 2017-09-05T19:26:14+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Week 12: In the Skin of the English Patient

"[U]nder the scarred trees in the half-bombed gardens of the Villa San Girolamo..." Who wouldn't want to be there? The place is Tuscany, in a hill town north of Florence...the second European war is drawing to a close. A pilot, burned beyond recognition, lies in an upstairs bedroom in an abandoned villa, tended only by a [...]

By | 2017-08-29T06:07:00+00:00 August 29th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments