Female beauty in Adam Bede

In George Eliot’s “Adam Bede,” the titular character is a “sensible” man of high principles who falls in love with Hetty Sorrel, a superficial girl who does not love or understand him. He, in turn, loves Hetty but doesn’t understand her. This is a common and very human situation, as Eliot observes with extended irony: … Continue reading Female beauty in Adam Bede

Lonesome Dove and Adam Bede

I’ve recently read George Eliot’s first novel, “Adam Bede.” It’s a racier novel than I had come to expect, having read “Middlemarch” and “Silas Marner”. Do people still speak of “racy” novels in this day and age? Well, I considered calling it straight-up sexy, but this is still 19th century Victorian literature, and it’s still … Continue reading Lonesome Dove and Adam Bede

East of Eden

I recently read John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden“, a novel so rich, and long, that one blog post couldn’t begin to uncover even 2% of it. But below I’ve quoted passages from the novel that I’ll talk about both in themselves and in relation to certain texts: the Bible, principally Genesis and Job; Miguel de … Continue reading East of Eden

Tolstoy descendant takes in Ukrainian refugees

Marta Albertini, the great-granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy, has taken a Ukrainian mother and daughter into her home in Switzerland. Apparently Albertini and many others of Tolstoy’s descendants have signed a letter to Putin saying that the family opposed the war and that Tolstoy himself, a renowned pacifist, would have been horrified by it. “We are … Continue reading Tolstoy descendant takes in Ukrainian refugees

Russia Against Napoleon

Back in 2009 Dominic Lieven wrote a book, “Russia Against Napoleon“, that challenged Leo Tolstoy’s view of history as expressed in “War and Peace.” I read it recently and it’s excellent, heavy on military analysis but brimming with other kinds of insights as well. The subtitle, “The True Story of the Campaigns of War and … Continue reading Russia Against Napoleon

Carol Newsom podcast on the Book of Job

The Two Testaments finished its podcast-tour through the Book of Job recently with a discussion focused on Job’s concluding words and the epilogue: Job 42 (Job’s Response and Epilogue) with Carol Newsom. The podcast is hosted at The Two Testaments, and it’s available at YouTube: Carol Newsom is the author of The Book of Job: … Continue reading Carol Newsom podcast on the Book of Job

Let there be electromagnetism

In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light.” Or, in translation: “The four-dimensional divergence of an antisymmetric second rank tensor equals zero”. That is the formula for light. In physics, light is defined as a form of electromagnetic radiation. If I understand correctly, what we have in the video above is James Clerk Maxwell’s … Continue reading Let there be electromagnetism


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