The Rhetorical Kingdom of E.R. Eddison

“But Juss answered and said, ‘Know that not for fame are we come on this journey. Our greatness already shadoweth all the world, as a great cedar tree spreading his shadow in a garden. But the great King of Witchland, practising in darkness in his royal palace of Carce such arts of grammarie and sendingsContinue reading “The Rhetorical Kingdom of E.R. Eddison”

Escaping the Dungeon: Addison on Imagination

“A good poet will give the reader a more lively idea of an army or a battle in a description, than if he actually saw them drawn up in squadrons and battalions, or engaged in the confusion of a fight. Our minds should be opened to great conceptions and inflamed with glorious sentiments by whatContinue reading “Escaping the Dungeon: Addison on Imagination”

A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o: A Review

In his first volume of The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn writes, “If only it were so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart ofContinue reading A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o: A Review”

A Letter to Virginia Woolf On To the Lighthouse

Dear Virginia, For a long while, I’ve wanted to write to you to express my admiration and sheer delight in your novel To the Lighthouse. It’s a beautiful book that always seems fresh each time I open it. I can think of no better definition of a classic, and I hope you’ll not mind if IContinue reading “A Letter to Virginia Woolf On To the Lighthouse

Dark Designs: Reading and Misreading Milton

In his 1820 essay The Defense of Poetry, Percy Shelley wrote, “Nothing can exceed the energy and magnificence of the character of Satan as expressed in Paradise Lost. It is a mistake to suppose that he could ever have been intended for the popular personification of evil.”1 This bold deconstruction of a staunchly Christian poet may haveContinue reading “Dark Designs: Reading and Misreading Milton”

More Worlds Imagined

New content will be available on the Worlds Imagined Blog in June. Upcoming articles include an exploration of the centrality of the character of Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost and the shifting narrative perspectives of Virginia Woolf’s stream of consciousness novel To the Lighthouse. I also hope to release a review of Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s heartfelt tale ofContinue reading “More Worlds Imagined”

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’s 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”

Nihilism at the OK Corral: Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian

I grew up with The Story. We all know The Story, the Story of America. We might sum it up as follows. Fleeing from religious persecution, a band of hardy European colonists settled on the shores of the “New World” and eventually founded a great and noble nation. Because of their high ideals, the peopleContinue reading “Nihilism at the OK Corral: Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian