Author Archives: wcd2

About wcd2

Professor of English and American Studies

Death Comes for the Archbishop

We began our class on Death Comes for the Archbishop by focusing on the novel’s historically suspect account of the American Southwest as the site of idyllic, even Edenic, encounters between global authority and local populations.  We turned to the … Continue reading

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Short Paper Outline – Sandburg’s Crowds

SANDBURG’S CROWDS Intro: Sandburg is fascinated by crowds/masses of people, and they way they make up a city. Thesis: Sandburg uses each crowd he describes in order to emphasize a different facet of the Chicago community.   By ethnicity Fish … Continue reading

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Signing Off

April 27, 2014 We’re converting the blog into “News & Field Reports,” a forum for the community.

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Nonsecular: William Faulkner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Toni Morrison

April 19, 2014 Toni Morrison says in a Paris Review interview: “I always get up and make a cup of coffee while it is still dark—it must be dark—and then I drink the coffee and watch the light come.”   … Continue reading

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2014 Conference

April 12, 2014 All these things that I didn’t know before the conference: Daniel Venegas’ Don Chiopote, the Creole folklore collected in Louisiana by the Federal Writers’ Project, and (I’m ashamed to say) Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of  Loss, writing the story … Continue reading

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Malcolm X’s Reading

April 3, 2014 I’m always a little suspicious when people make a big point about what books they’ve read, when they throw around big name like Schopenhauer, Kant, Nietzsche.   But Malcolm is pretty scrupulous.   Of Herodotus, he writes: “I … Continue reading

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Black Philip Roth

March 28, 2014 Not biologically black, of course (though what an “African-American biology” might mean is not entirely clear either). Still, Philip Roth might be said to be partly black — through mediation, association, and, perhaps most of all, contention — … Continue reading

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Frank O’Hara, Amiri Baraka: “The Day Lady Died”

March 19, 2014 Frank O’Hara and Billie Holiday had probably never met, never exchanged a single word.   There’s no record of the two of them at any gathering. What I found instead is an  image of Amiri Baraka and … Continue reading

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Falling out

March 12, 2014 I know it’s about Vietnam, about the contested nature of poetry as precipitated by that event.   And it couldn’t have been more public.  Their letters, now collected into a volume, documented the widening gap, followed by … Continue reading

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Denise Levertov’s Ghazals

March 7, 2014 I wonder what they  thinking, these authors who write poems that they call ghazals, that bear no obvious resemblance to the traditional form in Urdu and Persian and Arabic? Denise Levertov’s “Broken Ghazals” is simply one poem … Continue reading

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