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

Madame Bovary

January 14, 2021 I’ve just finished “Madame Bovary.”  Some of it was slow going, specifically the passages of excessive detail about physical objects and surroundings.  But after finishing the novel, I read in Soledad Fox’s “Flaubert and Don Quijote” that Flaubert used all this detail to satirize the “realist” genre:  that’s why he describes the … Continue reading Madame Bovary