The Weaver of Raveloe

I'm re-reading George Eliot's "Silas Marner," almost forty years since first reading it in grade-school. I've just started, so this post won't be a full review. I'm going to share some of the reading experience I've had thus far, both by myself and with my kids, who've shocked me a bit by asking me to … Continue reading The Weaver of Raveloe

Esmeralda, cosmologist

In my blog posts I've compared similar passages across different novels, and I've got several passages from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" that I want to link to other novels: "Moby-Dick," "Huckleberry Finn," "Tom Sawyer," "The Lord of the Rings," "Matilda," and one nonfiction book, Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot." Compare this declaration by King … Continue reading Esmeralda, cosmologist

Pilgrim’s Progress

I picked up “Pilgrim’s Progress” only because I was reading “Little Women,” which I found made constant reference to Bunyan’s earlier novel.  So I put down Alcott and started “Pilgrim,” and it was a mixed experience – riveting in many places, but often hard-going.  As often happens when I pick up a new author, the … Continue reading Pilgrim’s Progress

Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

It's a common trope in fiction: a final confrontation between the central hero of a story and its central villain. It's an important trope in Westerns, both on the page and screen -- Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is just one famous example. And we see it in works of fiction that are too many to count: … Continue reading Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind