Category Archives: books

Reading, Watching–and Smelling–World War I

More than a year ago, I decided to observe the centenary of World War I by using it as the theme of my English composition classes devoted to writing across the curriculum.  To that end, I have immersed myself in a wide assortment of … Continue reading

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I Never Saw a Moor; I Never Saw the Sea

              I never even had a passport. But I know the heather because I have walked the moonlit moors with Catherine and Heathcliff. I know the roiling sea because I sailed on the Pequod and clung … Continue reading

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Metatext: Memories in the Margins

Two weeks ago, on March 18, I saw The Sense of an Ending on the second day of its run at the Cameo Art House Theater in Fayetteville. In 2011–specifically, “Thanksgiving 2011, Lake Mattamuskeet” according to my notation on the flyleaf–I read … Continue reading

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The Many Gifts of Music

Preferring the feel and the smell and the fillable margins of real books, I had never listened to an audio book until I received one as a Christmas gift from a dear friend seeking to relieve the tedium I experience on … Continue reading

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Finding World War I: Fact, Fiction, and Truth in Pat Barker’s “Regeneration Trilogy”

We are living moment by moment through the centennial of the war that neither ended all wars nor made the world safe for democracy–catchphrases so cheap and aims so lofty that even as the armistice was being signed on November 11, 1918, … Continue reading

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Shared Experience, Shared Language: A Review of Lakoff and Johnson on Metaphor

Each of my efforts to write about George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By uncannily comprises a demonstration of its thesis. As I started to plan my review, I wrote, I am late to the dance—referring to the … Continue reading

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Our Whole Heart: Language and the Book of Common Prayer

Along with the King James Bible and the collected works of Shakespeare, the Book of Common Prayer has permeated the English language and given Anglophones worldwide some of our most beautiful and evocative phrases. Even the most secular among us get … Continue reading

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Acedia–In One Image

My initial goal for this post was to discuss acedia in 25 words or less. That opening line (including its ungrammatical modification of a countable noun) was meant as a joke, but it turned out to be not much more laughable than my … Continue reading

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Not Exactly Epiphanies

At the age of 36, I decided to get a master’s degree in English. I have elsewhere–well, everywhere, including in the introductory lecture of nearly every class I teach–suggested that I was standing in a bookstore, staring at the American literature selection, when … Continue reading

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Ho-Hum; Or, Whatever Happened to the Capacity for Wonder?

As we were driving home from seeing the movie Genius in Chapel Hill, my husband asked me why people don’t read Thomas Wolfe any more. My snappy retort masked what has been for some time an insidious fear: “Because they can no … Continue reading

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