Category: teaching

Barking at the angel.

On the top floor of the Accademia in Florence, in an overlooked panel of a medieval altarpiece, is an image that’s easy to ignore: a shepherd’s dog, barking at the angel who’s suddenly appeared to rouse the obviously startled shepherds from their sleep. There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Macaulay and Marlborough: “The Favourite” on screen and page.

It’s not often that a movie lives up to its press, but “The Favourite” does – and more.  It also reanimates a story coming to life in front of me, right now, in the first six-volume history of England written by a woman, published around the American Revolution and resting on my desk in the […]

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