THE ODYSSEY

Translations are a bitch. If readers—especially those with no great interest in other cultures or mythology—want a fast-moving understandable fantasy tale, this might be just the ticket. I want history and truth and anthropology. This translation is modestly literate and probably relatively accurate. Despite imposition of semi-iambic pentameter and use of modern expressions, it does [...]

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TIME OFF

We went away for the weekend. Such a simple thing to do though rare for us because for all of our marriage until recently, we had the animals to consider. There were dogs, usually five or six of them. There were the cats, only one at a time. Zora bit. Leakey pined. This recent trip [...]

‘When something like this happens . . . ‘

Many people are finding it emotionally challenging to watch the news these days. They do not feel connected to events, to politics, to the ebb and flow of our national debate. I understand that. Just last week I was thinking over my personal experiences with accidental shootings leading to lost use of legs, to murders, [...]

VIOLATION

  The rape scene is explicit. I taught The Bluest Eye for 25 years. It is an extraordinary novel told from multiple perspectives. A little girl is ruined, driven insane and lost. The language is stunning, beautiful, masterful. I introduced the novel with an early event where a narrator describes being sick and feeling her [...]