I was sent this BBC article to read a few days ago by a person who knows my love of words and also my left-leaning political views. It is an interesting article, a mix of politics and linguistics (there’s just no avoiding semantics when it comes to that pairing!), and it gave me much to think about. I did, however, find myself distracted from the content by an aspect of formatting I’ve been noticing lately about internet news stories in general: the one-sentence paragraph. It creates an interesting but not entirely pleasant effect. I don’t know if it is a new phenomenon (relatively speaking, of course, since much of the internet is “new” to us), or if I’ve just finally become more explicitly aware of what I’ve been unconsciously noticing for some time. Continue reading

The Lazy Days of Summer

I’ve got some pieces in the works, but my entire month has been utterly consumed by my summer classes, so until I can finish them, here’s a quick overview of what’s been consuming me. I’m teaching two sections of Composition and Literature 2. I had the students buy How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster as their “textbook.” It’s a really accessible introduction to concepts and techniques of literary analysis. I love not using a traditional textbook, but it certainly does take more work. Here’s the reading list we’ve covered:

  1. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates
  2. “The Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield
  3. “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” by Ernest Hemingway
  4. “Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances” by Walt Whitman
  5. “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost
  6. “The Power of Myth” – video interview of Joseph Campbell by Bill Moyers
  7. “Talking New York” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” by Bob Dylan
  8. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
  9. Anthem by Ayn Rand
  10. The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  11. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (okay, we actually watched the Kenneth Brannagh film adaptation) Continue reading