Posts: 2,223
Registered: ‎10-20-2006
0 Kudos

All the old Posts: An Index of Blog Entries from Weeks 1-30

[ Edited ]

Below are the titles and first sentences from the blog entries from weeks 1-30.  Click on the title to see that week's blog and discussion:  

The Welcome Message:

A Description of What Happens on the Board

Welcome, fellow readers --You probably already have a few authors whom you consider smart confidantes or friends. You draw on their words for guidance at difficult crossroads—for sympathy or advice....



Week 1: Charlotte Bronte and Happiness 

Yesterday someone asked me “are you happy?”—which reminded me how much I hate that question.   


Week 2: Virginia Woolf and Boring Habits 

You might love your job, house, and family, but the sound of your own voice might still sometimes bore you.

Week 3: Sophocles on When to Break the Law
Have you told a lie any time lately? If you were caught, did you feel misread?

Week 4: Miranda July and How People Drive Us
Four people I admire recently told me they’re reading Miranda July’s new book of short stories, No one belongs here more than you., so now I’m reading it.

Week 5: Friedrich Nietzsche on Many Things

Philosophy shares a lot with literature.

Week 6: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Head

Last week on this board, we talked about humor.  


Week 7: Pablo Neruda and How to Talk

Does expressing a feeling change the feeling?

Week 8: Charles Dickens and Consistency
Charles Dickens opens his A Christmas Carroll with his famous wit. Here goes:

Week 9: Orpheus says "Don't Look Back!"

There have been many versions of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.   


Week 10: Help from the Tao Te Ching

This week: Chinese wisdom coming from the Tao Te Ching.


Week 11: Computer Challenge: Are Paperbound Books Dying?
Instead of looking at one novel or poem this week, I want to ask what the value of the paper book is.

Week 12: Shakespeare Talks about Love
Romeo and Juliet popularized a lot of our ideas about love: We call outrageous romancers “Romeos,” we know how to pine like they do in the play, and we expect sentiment to go well on balconies.

Week 13: Mann on Dignity
For the next few weeks, I want to look at Thomas Mann’s novella Death in Venice, which is full of significant life themes. One of them is our need for dignity.

Week 14: Week 2 of Thomas Mann: Can the Healthy Empathize with the Sick?
We’re on our second week of a discussion of some of the major themes in Thomas Mann’s novella Death in Venice.

Week 15: Week 3 of Thomas Mann: Why Vacations Change Us
Death in Venice is one of the great travel stories.  


Week 16: Mary Shelley and Our Sloppy Morality
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a strange novel—because the author seems to get masochistic here.

Week 17: Raintree County and 1000-pg Books. Do You Like Long Books? 

This week I’m reading Raintree County 


Week 18: Help me Appreciate Vampires
My friend who’s a literary agent said he found a goldmine of a book last week and is now bidding for it alongside eight other agencies. 


Week 19: What's Pornography?

This week: What’s pornography?

Week 20: What's Your Reaction to the Word "Feminism"?
I was recently interviewed about my work on Virginia Woolf, during which the interviewer and I had a long discussion about the word "feminism." 



Week 21: Scenes of Joy: Carroll, Dickens, et al.
I’ve talked a lot about pain on this blog.  


Week 22: Alexander Pope says, "Chin Up, Camper!"
Not many quotations have had a bigger effect on me than this one, from Alexander Pope’s poem "Essay on Criticism": 


Week 23: Is Nonfiction Art?--and some praise for Malcolm Gladwell
I teach a college writing class in which we spend a lot of the year studying Malcolm Gladwell, who’s a big hero of mine.  


Week 24: Name me Some Simple but Beautiful Books

Why do some books, which were written for adults, become the mainstays of our junior high and high school reading lists?


Week 25: Lie to Encourage Your Friends
I’m on book tour now, travelling a lot, exhausted, but having fun.  


Week 26: Holidays=Happy, or no?
It’s Thanksgiving. I’ve just come home from the family dinner with the usual worry that “my family’s crazy.”

Week 27: Blogs Outside of Our Own

Hi everyone. Welcome back after my week’s blog break.

Week 28: OULIPO Messes with the Head
Ever heard of the OULIPO (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle, or The Workshop of Potential Literature)?

Week 29: Sewell and Sex Drive

I’m interested in “female sexual dysfunction” these days.  


Week 30: Brilliant Minds Whose Parents Died Young
A lot of my favorite authors had their parents die during childhood.

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 08-12-2008 01:52 AM
Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 08-12-2008 01:53 AM

Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.