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Tag Archives: writing
On Friday night, one of my poet friends (Niccelle Davis) took a picture of me reading a poem to an audience at Butler’s Coffee in Palmdale, California, and posted it at her blog. I didn’t look too fat, so I asked her … Continue reading
The following was recently posted at the Antelope Valley College website, and I thought I’d put it up here as well: Santi Tafarella Talks About the Ultimate Freedom: Uncensored Thinking Recently AVC faculty member Santi Tafarella passed an amazing number. … Continue reading
In a recent essay for the Guardian, Harvard English professor, James Wood, identifies four ways that literature complexifies the atheist-theist debate. As Wood sees it, literary writers tend to: explore fluctuations in the human psyche; track messy mixtures of truth and error; imaginatively walk in … Continue reading
When Aristotle looked at, say, a tree and asked what caused it, his answer began with matter and form: a tree is a product of the raw matter it is made of (water and wood fibers) channeled through a very particular form … Continue reading
I thought it might be fun (at least for me) to lay out, in a series of short blog posts, some of the basic terms and ideas that I present to my students when talking about the “close reading” of literary texts. … Continue reading
The following photo essay is by Charles Hood, who, like my wife and I, teaches English at Antelope Valley College in Southern California. Unlike us, however, when Charles is between semesters he is not curled up on the sofa sipping hot spiced … Continue reading
I think this is a great quote. It comes from the French philosopher, Andre Glucksmann: Socrates’s uncertainty revealed a rupture that gave birth to philosophy. The divine word is a mystery; it can mean everything or nothing. Zeus neither speaks nor … Continue reading
This spell-casting Thanksgiving proclamation was penned by Connecticut Governor Wilber Cross in 1936: Time out of mind at this turn of the seasons when the hardy oak leaves rustle in the wind and the frost gives a tang to the air and … Continue reading
Not that kind of cereal, but the serial comma. A great example (via Making Light) of what can happen when you drop the serial comma from a sentence: For those who don’t like to squint at small print, the newspaper … Continue reading
A great Jack Kerouac quote on the hollowness of pursuing fame: I can just see the shabby literary man carrying a “bulging briefcase” rushing from one campus to another, one lecture club to another, nodding confirmation with his hosts that … Continue reading
Christopher Hitchens was recently interviewed by Hugh Hewitt, and offered an interesting tidbit on a rhetorical strategy that tends to work for him: [W]hen I write, as often as I can, I try to write as if I’m talking to people. It … Continue reading
Not literally, of course. But it occurred to me this morning that Rod Serling’s appeal as a guide to his Twilight Zone episodes is this: he functions as a sublimated devil, the camara darting him into visual consciousness out of nowhere. Serling is a Virgil, but not … Continue reading
Beauty is the first ugliness in line, making those behind blind. The candle’s orange tongue, declaring for God, assures darkness is elsewhere. Your truth is a mask for an undisclosed motive.
Here’s my list of reasons for blogging: Contingency. Blogging is a rather pure way of embracing contingency (chance). Like dropping a marble down a pachinko machine, I put a random thought out into the world and see what associations it provokes in me and anyone … Continue reading
Something that jumped out at me early on in chapter 3 of the college critical thinking text, Schick and Vaughn’s How to Think about Weird Things (5th edition, 2008), is the distinction that was made between argument and persuasion. To win support for … Continue reading
Every other year or so I find myself returning to Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn’s critical thinking text, How to Think about Weird Things, and rereading the whole darn thing through again. Schick and Vaughn’s book is a rather popular college text, and it’s in its sixth edition. … Continue reading
A brilliant deconstruction. See the full post here. Here’s how it starts: This sentence contains a provocative statement that attracts the readers’ attention, but really only has very little to do with the topic of the blog post. This sentence claims … Continue reading
Hieroglyphs at Karnak (Thebes), circa 1950 BCE: