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

On Maria and the Death of Nikolai Bolkonsky in War and Peace

Throughout Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the great Bolkonsky household is a home bereft of affection and the caresses of love for which perhaps every child and every parent longs. The father, Nikolai Bolkonsky, proud, intelligent, eccentric, and cynical, has tormented his daughter by his schedule, his demands, his scoffing at her faith and manners. But … Continue reading On Maria and the Death of Nikolai Bolkonsky in War and Peace

A Question of the Liberal Arts: Why is Song a Gift from the Gods?

from a talk given at New College Franklin in the Fall of 2013 Main Texts: Homer’s Odyssey, Book 8, lines 42-45, 62-94, 483-499, 521-534 Homer’s Iliad, Book VI, lines 440-465 My goal in giving this talk is to inspire wonder and excitement about the program of study here, to encourage intellectual enthusiasm. With this goal … Continue reading A Question of the Liberal Arts: Why is Song a Gift from the Gods?