Writing about kids, for kids in Little Women

The premise of this blog is to read “the greatest works of literature.” Looking at that very long reading assignment, compiled and winnowed by twenty-odd “best of” lists from the last hundred years, there’s something glaringly missing: children’s literature. The idea of children’s lit didn’t exist until the 19th century, so it is no fair … Continue reading

The Mediocre Prose of 2001: A Space Odyssey

There is a peculiar pleasure in reading science fiction a decade after the “events of the future” were intended to have taken place. Remember, the fictional events of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey are entering their tenth anniversary. I won’t go into a labor-intensive compare and contrast of what Clarke got right and wrong (briefly, … Continue reading

In Middlemarch, Spring/Winter Marriage, not so smart

So what we have here right out of the gate in George Eliot’s Middlemarch is a tee-up for a good old fashioned love triangle. Our thoughtful protag Dorothea Brooke thinks, on impulse, there is nothing more she would like in the world than to be married to an older, brilliant scholar and whittle away her … Continue reading

Ripley Begins His Game

The Talented Mr. Ripley might be a tough novel to write about as I’m reading it. It is all plot. A building up of tension that takes almost no time out for hefty metaphors, peerings into characters’ souls, etc.  That’s fine by me. As I wrote before, there is only so much over-writing you can … Continue reading