Skip to content

Posts from the ‘essays’ Category


Wrap-Up Deal Me In 2017 Challenge


Challenge DEAL ME IN  2017

  • Thank you Jay….for hosting at Bibliophilopolis
  • I finished this challenge
  • ….but keep reading short stories and essays!
  • List is essays, short stories 2017:


#DealMeIn2017 challenge  60/52

  1. Short Story – J. Updike You’ll never know, Dear, how much I love you – READ – REVIEW
  2. Short Story – J. Updike The Alligators – READ  – REVIEW
  3. Short Story – W. Trevor  The Piano Teacher’s Pupil – READ – REVIEW
  4. Short Stories –  H. Ellison – Shatterday & Other Stories   READ  11/11 – REVIEW
  5. Short Story –  H. Lawson The Union Buries Its Dead –  READ – REVIEW
  6. Essay – Who Killed Tolstoy? – Elif Bautman – READ – REVIEW
  7. Essays – E.B.White – REVIEW


Comparison 2 essays about Neil Gaiman’s writings:


  1. Short Story – J. Updike Pigeon Feathers – REVIEW
  • The trauma of an adolescent crisis of faith is brilliantly described in this story.
  • I laughed out loud…
  • during the allusions to Updike’s mother Linda,
  • to Updike’s his blustry  but ineffectual father and
  • dazed….Granmom with
  • My favorite quote: 
  • “….her usual expression of bewilderment.
  • Her irises were pale discs of crazed crystal.”


  1. Short Story – W. Trevor – Meeting At Middle Age – REVIEW
  • My favorite quote: (pg 10)   
  • Mrs. da Tanka: “You are an occasional table. Or a coat-rack in a boarding house. Who shall mourn at your grave?
  • Mr Mileson: ” You are a creature with your face and fingernails. Mutton dressed as lamb….!”


  1. Short Story – W. Trevor – Access to Children – REVIEW
  • My favorite quote: (pg 29) 
  • Divorced man realizes what he has thrown away for a chance meeting with a woman in a train.
  • “They drank (man and barmaid)…to the day that was to come…
  • when the error he had mande would me wiped away.”


  1. Short Story – W. Trevor – The General’s Day – REVIEW
  • Retired General Suffolk walks ‘through a land of morn’
  • ….on an Irish Saturday morning.
  • Tea with pie and later a few dubble gins with split tonic.
  • The General swayed catching the bar to balance himself.
  • My favorite quote: (pg 46)
  • “Are you ill? …the General smiled…I’ve not been myself for many years.
  • Today is just another day. “


  1. Essay – Darwinism – Marilynne Summers Robinson – READ
  2. Essay – A Cat’s Meow – Joseph Brodsky – READ
  3. Essay – Of Our Spiritual Strivings – W.E.B. Du Bois – READ
  4. Essay – Remapping history, Reclaming memory Wilson plays (J. H. Scott) – READ
  5. Essay – How Technology Disrupted the Truth – K. Viner – READ – essay – READ
  6. Essay – Michael Sweerts: Another Dimension  S. Schama (critic) – READ
  7. Essay – Bleak House: Dead Mother’s Property (H. Schor) – READ



Neil Gaiman in the 21st Century

  • Editor: Tara Prescott
  • Title:  Neil Gaiman in the 21st Century
  • Published: 2015
  • #DealMeIn2017

Essay:   What Neil Gaiman Teaches Us About Survival (M. Miller)
Essay:   Remembering the dead: narrative of childhood (R. Long)


I read 2 essays commenting on Neil Gaiman’s  The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
I plan to read this book very soon.
Commenting on essays that are works on a single book by Neil Gaiman is not easy!
How do you review a review?


What is the narrator in Gaiman’s  the book trying to do?
The narrator is trying to survive his traumatic childhood.

Essay nr 1:
Monica  Miller tells us that the child uses creation and imagination to survive.
Creation here is the art of cooking and sewing (domestic arts)
that give the boy a sense of comfort and security at Hempstock farmhouse.
He has lost the feeling of being safe in his violent home (abuse).
The Hempstock ladies  – grandmother, mother and daughter
help the narrator relive, restore and recover from his trauma.
They seem magical to the young boy!

Essay nr 2:
Rebecca  Long tells us the nucleus of childhood is imagination and memory.
Children construct childhood as they go along.
Childhood is not only lived experiences but stories and narratives other than their own.
The narrator is constantly trying to figure out what was ‘lived’ and what was ‘imagined’.
Child is caught between the inner (imagination) and outer world (reality).
His trauma can only be resolved  through a cycle of remember, retell what he has
forgotten….only then to forget it again.

Do the essays have anything in common?
Both essays emphasize the importance of imagination in a child’s life.


Rebecca Long’s essay was good but didn’t appeal to me.
She relies on quotes by philosophers
Trigg and Warnock, Hollindale and literary theorist Frye to support her views.
Tone: academic, helpful, knowledgeable
I enjoyed essay nr 1 because it felt more polished and personal
Monica Miller referred to many lovely quotes
from the book. and also used Neil Gaiman’s famous speech
‘Make Good Art’ as the backbone of her essay.
Tone: sincere, intelligent, creative