Category: travel

Essay on study-abroad teaching forthcoming in Engaging the Age of Jane Austen (University of Iowa Press, 2019)

I couldn’t be happier that my essay “Gain Experience!: Literature, Travel, and Life” (echoing Mary Wollstonecraft’s famous advice) is forthcoming in Engaging the Age of Jane Austen, edited by Bridget Draxler and Danielle Spratt (University of Iowa Press, 2019). I’m so grateful to Bridget and Danielle for this opportunity. In the essay, I share particular […]

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The men at the wall.

Two men in tunics and hose, their backs to me, lean on the wall of a castle balcony and look down at something happening on the other side. A slim tree leafs out elegantly to the left. They’re relaxed, intent, faces totally hidden. What’s going on down there, in this picture’s entirely private world? Framed […]

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Your native town, and the world.

“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.” – Victor Frankenstein to Robert Walton, Frankenstein; […]

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A Cheapskate Romanticist abroad.

“Experience enlarges the space for the self to swim in.” – George Eliot, from a manuscript in “Writing Britain” at the British Library. A month of travel has left me with more than I can say, and more than I can put into words, even to myself, even as I’m settling into a fall sabbatical […]

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La bella Iowa?

So this afternoon, following a morning of errands, I tackled the yard again: grass-cutting, edging, cleaning off the sidewalk, and then weeding, till my clothes were completely soaked with sweat. I mean, even my socks.  And my old yard sneakers.  Tomatoes have rocketed up and out, putting on green fruit like crazy, necessitating some tucking-in […]

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