Category Archives: literature

The Mother of Beauty: World War I in Word, Image, and Song

Published below is the text of a talk I will give tomorrow to commemorate the Armistice centenary as part of a series of events entitled “FTCC Remember World War I: 1914-1918.” “Death is the mother of beauty,” wrote Wallace Stevens, … Continue reading

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One Doomed Youth–and 17 Million More

From July to November 1917, Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was a shell-shocked second lieutenant in the Manchester Regiment; he was suffering from shell shock and was under the care of W. H. R. Rivers at Craiglockhart War Hospital. There, he … Continue reading

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Nothing’s Fair

For more than two years, I have been immersed in a project designed to commemorate the centenary of World War I in my freshman composition classes and–this November–across the campus of the community college where I teach. I have already … Continue reading

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The English Major and Ford Madox Ford: A Tale of Passion

                  The Chemistry Major At this late date, newly minted Medicare card tucked safely in my wallet, I suppose it’s time to admit, mostly to myself, that I have always been what … Continue reading

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Bearing Witness: Reading and Telling the Great War

Midway through the World War I centenary, I decided that I would use that largely unacknowledged anniversary as the theme for my freshman composition class on writing across the curriculum. The students write a literature review about shell shock for … Continue reading

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The Mother of Beauty: War in Words and Music

For the past two years, I have immersed myself in a personal and professional commemoration of the centenary of World War I. For a freshman composition class I designed in writing across the curriculum, I have read extensively in the … Continue reading

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100 at 65

Arbitrarily, we deem specific anniversaries more significant than others. The numbers that would seem the most noteworthy are the primes, but we have opted to recognize the boring and uncreative numbers instead. We celebrate multiples of 5 and 10 for … Continue reading

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The Armistice: A Remembrance

The 99th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I took center stage in my English 112 class on Friday, November 10. For more than a year, I have been preparing to guide my students on this journey through … Continue reading

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Erasing History: The 2017 Version

“In February 1948, the Communist leader Klement Gottwald stepped out on to the balcony of a Baroque palace in Prague to harangue hundreds of thousands of citizens massed in Old Town Square. That was the great turning point in the … Continue reading

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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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