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Jane Austen’s Broken Spine: Re-reading and Forgetting

by Grubby   My wife’s copy of Pride and Prejudice falls open naturally (that is, by a second nature in which its reader has thoroughly trained it) to a certain page near the middle of the book, in Chapter 35. This pivotal chapter consists almost entirely of a letter from Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet, in which he explains ...

Another Way to Listen to People

by Grubby   The first time I read Eudora Welty's "Why I Live at the P.O.," (you know, the story you read in high school to learn about unreliable narrators), I took everything the narrator said for gospel. I followed carefully along, point by point, as she mounted her case against her family and justified her every move, ...

Satan, Walter White, and Yertle the Turtle

by Grubby   In case you somehow did not read it as a child, Yertle the Turtle is a morality tale by the learned Dr. Seuss, designed to moderate the overweening ambitions of power-hungry five-year-olds through the example of a despotic turtle. When Yertle, king of the pond, tries to expand his domain by piling his ...