Felicitous Construal in Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Persuasion is not well read, but it is perhaps Jane Austen’s best work. Yet it is not one I would recommend for a first time reader. Its deep moral sentiments, its understated conversations, its complexity of situation amid deep simplicity make it perhaps a more difficult novel to appreciate. Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility … Continue reading Felicitous Construal in Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Direction in Donne’s Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward

Two central motifs which shape John Donne’s Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward make the poem challenging for contemporary readers: cosmology and liturgy. To some degree, they are a single motif, as the poem seems to argue. The poem, a meditation on the Crucifixion and the narrator’s spiritual condition, is set in the context of the motion … Continue reading Direction in Donne’s Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward

Irrevocable

It is a terrible thing, the burden of living in time that every action we take is ultimately irrevocable. We cannot undo that which we have done. As Omar Khayyam put it in his poem the Rubaiyat: The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit. Shall lure it back to … Continue reading Irrevocable