Category Archives: books

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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Ode to OED (and Friends)

When I was a girl in the dusty mining town of Globe, Arizona, with the sulfur odor in the air when the wind blew from the west, our house had a living room, a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part III: John V., Il Miglior Fabbro

Learning at the feet of the master  In furtherance of my naïve but exuberant efforts to learn how to think, my history T.A.-cum-guru John Hosmer suggested that I take a class with his Ph.D. advisor, John V. Mering. It was the … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part II: My Endless Summer of Thomas Wolfe

A naïve and sheltered twenty-year-old baby boomer from a copper-mining town in Arizona who asked her revered teacher/guru for a list of books to teach her how to think, I probably didn’t expect the internal cataclysm that ensued. But I … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part I: A Motley Pentateuch

Spring 1973: As an overachieving, overprotected, overweight college sophomore, I approached the end of the spring semester with the dread of impending loss. In addition to my accustomed success in school that year, I had incrementally begun the process—equally exhilarating and … Continue reading

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