Virgil, The Eclogues

The Eclogues of Virgil: A Bilingual Edition by Virgil My rating: 4 of 5 stars I read this, mistakenly, because of Willa Cather; it wasn't until I brought it all the way home from the library that I checked again and saw that she was quoting not the Eclogues but the Georgics in My Ántonia. … Continue reading Virgil, The Eclogues

Willa Cather, My Ántonia

My Antonia by Willa Cather My rating: 4 of 5 stars Willa Cather's 1918 novel, My Ántonia, places itself in the history of world literature about two-thirds of the way through, when its narrator, Jim Burden, goes to college and contemplates the career of Virgil: After he had faced the bitter fact that he was … Continue reading Willa Cather, My Ántonia

James Wood, David Mitchell, and the Metaphysics and Morality of the Novel

While I enjoyed number9dream, Cloud Atlas, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, I haven't read David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks, and I don't know that I will.  The high fantasy trope of immemorially-warring clans who represent good and evil may secretly structure most political commentary today, but the peculiar virtue of literature is … Continue reading James Wood, David Mitchell, and the Metaphysics and Morality of the Novel

Goodreads Review Round-Up & Fall Teaching

I miss the old Internet days when one just had a blog (or a livejournal!) and it all went there: the pretty pictures, the book reviews, the ancient quotations veiling political fears, the notes on pedagogy, etc.  But we must adapt to this multi-platform age if we want to continue to promote every aspect of our … Continue reading Goodreads Review Round-Up & Fall Teaching

Virgil, The Aeneid

The Aeneid by Virgil My rating: 5 of 5 stars While nobody wants to agree with the conventional wisdom, I have to say that The Aeneid lives up to its reputation as a half-hearted epic, strongest in those moments and with those characters that most pull away from the teleology of Aeneas's god-ordained journey to … Continue reading Virgil, The Aeneid