Pleased to share the video of my paper “Wings in the Abyss: Reading Keats in the Pandemic,” presented on the panel “A Possession For All Time” at the virtual Association of Core Texts and Courses (ACTC) Conference, April 14, 2021.Read more
Keats in the pandemic.
To many of us, the year 2020 felt like the first draft of apocalypse. The COVID-19 pandemic claimed nearly two million dead worldwide. Lockdown life drove minds and economies around the bend. George Floyd was murdered by a policeman on a Minneapolis sidewalk. Brexit disaster flapped down on rusty wings to roost on the once-United […]Read more
“So much time to write?”: Sabbatical-ing in the pandemic (for our college magazine).
In August 2019, an alarming number clarified my mission in life. “How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?” asked a New York Times infographic. “As the world warms because of human-induced climate change, most of us can expect to see more days when temperatures hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) […]Read more
An Awful Rainbow: possible introduction, part 2.
Possible introduction, continued, to An Awful Rainbow: Reading the Romantics in a World on Fire. Read Part One here. *** We Frankenstein pilgrims came home to a year that only got scarier. First, there was barely-averted war with Iran. The presidential caucus – Iowa’s pride and joy – came apart in our hands. Then the […]Read more
Barns and Edens: metaphors and the virus.
Like soap punctures the fatty envelope around its own RNA strand, coronavirus punctures our human envelopes of comfort and forces rethinking, in so many ways. One is metaphor (x “is” y) and simile (x is “like or as” y), which guides us – for better or worse – in comparing unlike things, and thus helps […]Read more
Thinking through coronavirus.
“It’s a matter of common decency. That’s an idea which may make some people smile, but the only means of fighting a plague is — common decency.” Albert Camus, The Plague Read War and Peace in a free virtual book club with the writer Yiyun Li. From A Public Space. Free virtual book clubs and […]Read more