The Cheapskate Intellectual

A journey through matters of spirit, sustainability, and self-reliance

Mycelia, manuscripts, and me: 360 degrees of life.

“[We must think of fungi] not as a thing but as a process: an exploratory, irregular tendency.” – Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures       Fungi burst borders and boundaries. Of matter, of thought, of mental categories. They tendril between previously discrete things […]

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Boxing talk at Highgate Cemetery, rescheduled for Jan. 11, 2023!

Delighted to share that on Jan. 11, 2023 (rescheduled from Nov. 24), I’ll be speaking in person at Highgate Cemetery about Pierce Egan and Tom Sayers, who are buried at Highgate Cemetery, and the complex, bloody world of nineteenth-century English boxing, which fascinated Lord Byron and John Keats. More at the Highgate Cemetery website.

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Creature and cat.

Behold a new marvel in the annals of Frankenstein memorabilia – a life-size wooden chair I’ve just purchased from its creator, local artist Tom Sheppard. As you can see, nonhuman beings can look past the Creature’s appearance and detect his inherent benevolence. 🙂

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What would Wollstonecraft say?

Since we’re apparently being held captive as a nation to what writers were thinking in 1788, let’s go back to 1792, when Mary Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. What might Wollstonecraft, landmark English feminist, say about the not-entirely-unexpected but still devastating decision today by the Supreme Court, 6-3, to overturn Roe […]

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English Monsters and amazing students.

This January, students and I were supposed to be in London and Haworth and Whitby, tracking Frankenstein’s Creature and Dracula and Heathcliff and Mr. Hyde. Instead we were in a classroom on campus, a beloved old building with a sloping floor, a harmless ghost named Gertrude (according to student legend), and a whanging, banging monster […]

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Blake and Kae Tempest: Seeing “People’s Faces” with students (Nov. 28)

On Nov. 28, I’ll take part via Zoom in The Blake Society’s special event to celebrate the launch of its journal VALA’s new issue – which includes my short piece on teaching Blake’s “London” alongside current Blake Society president Kae Tempest’s spoken-word poem “People’s Faces” – over Zoom on Dec. 21, 2020.  It was, and […]

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