- Twitter: @burns_nancy
- Trivia: List of challenges 2018
- Trivia: #DealMeIn2018
Read: Quarterly Essay, vol. 63; Watson, Don, 16 September 2016 (Australian)
- I’m trying to read a back-log of essays…and this one caught my eye!
- This essay was written BEFORE Trump won the US election.
- This is one TOP NOTCH piece of writing!
- I am amazed how Don Watson (Australian) has written such
- …clever an insightful observations about a
- …complex and chaotic American political landscape.
- Strong point: D. Watson is well read.
- He uses this information…to support his conclusions.
- The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (W. A. Williams, 1988)
- America’s War for the Greater Middle East (A. Bacevich, 2016)
- Strong point: writing style
- Don Watson is cheeky and at times irreverent.
- For example calling John Foster Dulles
- …and his brother Allen door-kickers
- …hitmen for the cause of US world supremacy. (ouch)
- Watson gives us a refreshing look
- at the divides in America (Blue-Red sates)
- zooms in on the ‘purple state’ of Wisconsin,
- the circus we call the US elections,
- the TV news media and the candidates.
- …especially the appeal of Bernie Sanders!
- Strong point: Best chapter: 6
- Watson makes remarkable comparisons between
- Trump’s campaign….and fascism
- …fanning the flames of rhetoric to win votes.
- I am very, very impressed with Don Watson’s essay.
- He is one of Australia’s foremost writers and intellectuals.
- There are so many Australian writers who we must discover!
- After reading this thought provoking essay
- …I think of a phrase I saw on the internet:
- Obama is the America…it thinks it is
- Trump is the America….it knows it is.
Here are a few gems:
- The United States is a concatenation of sulky tribes provincial
- …ignorant and seething with ambition…. [OUCH!]
- US TV NEWS:
- The pundits are not there to judge the quality of thought or action
- …An election is a horse race and
- …no one cares what horses are thinking. [OUCH!]
- TRUMP vs TV NEWS:
- Donald Trump understands the news channels
- better than they understand themselves.
- His “outrageous” tweets push people toward the media
- …and the media towards him.
- He dominates the news.
- He wins every day.
- Even when he loses, he wins! [HOW TRUE….]
- TRUMP vs EVANGELICALS:
- Americans want a president through whom God can act.
- But as well as the right president
- …it must be the right god.
- Trump understands this too.
- [DE TOCQUEVILLE…wonders has TRUMP read my book?]
- Personally…I don’t think Democracy in America is on Trump’s TBR.
- BERNIE SANDERS:
- Sanders never had to worry about an “image problem,”
- …because he didn’t have an image.
- When he appeared on television he did not look like
- …a man in search of a camera;
- …more like a man just retired
- …who stumbled in on a talkshow [LOL]
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
- Short Story – J. Updike You’ll never know, Dear, how much I love you – READ – REVIEW
- Short Story – J. Updike The Alligators – READ – REVIEW
- Short Story – W. Trevor The Piano Teacher’s Pupil – READ – REVIEW
- Short Stories – H. Ellison – Shatterday & Other Stories READ 11/11 – REVIEW
- Short Story – H. Lawson The Union Buries Its Dead – READ – REVIEW
- Essay – Who Killed Tolstoy? – Elif Bautman – READ – REVIEW
- Essays – E.B.White – REVIEW
Comparison 2 essays about Neil Gaiman’s writings:
- Essay – What Neil Gaiman Teaches Us About Survival – M. Miller – REVIEW
- Essay – Remembering the Dead – R Long – READ – REVIEW
- 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.”
- 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….!”
- 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.”
- 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. “
- Essay – Darwinism – Marilynne Summers Robinson – READ
- Essay – A Cat’s Meow – Joseph Brodsky – READ
- Essay – Of Our Spiritual Strivings – W.E.B. Du Bois – READ
- Essay – Remapping history, Reclaming memory Wilson plays (J. H. Scott) – READ
- Essay – How Technology Disrupted the Truth – K. Viner – READ – essay – READ
- Essay – Michael Sweerts: Another Dimension S. Schama (critic) – READ
- Essay – Bleak House: Dead Mother’s Property (H. Schor) – READ
- Editor: Tara Prescott
- Title: Neil Gaiman in the 21st Century
- Published: 2015
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