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“Shall I project a world?”

Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

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A Postcolonial Stranger: The Meursault Investigation

“My brother had to be seen through your hero’s eyes to become an ‘Arab’ and consequently die.” -Kamel Daoud, The Meursault Investigation. Albert Camus’s The Stranger gained an almost mythical reputation early on as a classic text highlighting the alienation and meaninglessness of human existence. Like most of his works, the novel takes place in French Algeria. InContinue reading “A Postcolonial Stranger: The Meursault Investigation

The Monster Under the Amusement Park: Arthur Miller’s Focus

In the opening of Arthur Miller’sĀ Focus, Lawrence Newman awakens from a disturbing dream. “He was in some sort of amusement park. Before him stood a large carousel, strangely colored in green and purple patches. Somehow there were no people there. It was deserted for acres around him. And yet the carousel was moving. The brightlyContinue reading “The Monster Under the Amusement Park: Arthur Miller’s Focus

The Sound of Their Mourning: Homer and the Value of Literature

Writers create meaning as much through the material they exclude as by the tale they explore. In the twenty-fourth book of The Iliad, the poet ends his story of the Trojan war not with broken walls or burning towers but with a scene of reconciliation and human recognition. Nothing could be more dramatic than this extraordinary momentContinue reading “The Sound of Their Mourning: Homer and the Value of Literature”

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