Category: Reading

Novel Form

Freytag's Pyramid

Novels require suspense about the outcome between a determined person and a formidable obstacle. If the story cannot be cast in that shape, then another mode of telling the story is required

Reaction to Vicar of Wakefield

The Vicar of Wakefield

The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith My rating: 3 of 5 stars Goldsmith’s novel is a child of the Age of Reason. It’s much too heavily weighed to the intellect. It devolved into talking heads. Goldsmith has many useful and provocative insights, in the logical domain which is all-important to him. The Vicar provides…

Thomas Wolfe’s House

After Biltmore on Saturday, Kris and I went to downtown on Sunday. Thomas Wolfe’s childhood house in Asheville. He populated Look Homeward Angel with characters drawn from the boarding house his mother ran and the town he lived in. After it was published, he didn’t return for years, fearing the reaction the town had to…

Louisa May Alcott

Reading has always brought me pleasure, but I came to enjoy writing only after many years. It fascinates me how writers came to their calling. On Amazon Prime the other night, I watched the American Masters biographical documentary of Louisa May Alcott. She was much different and more complex than my imaginings. Her history was…


Because polio strikes mysteriously, most everyone formulates theories based on superstitions. Roth uses the capriciousness of the disease as an avenue to question God’s role in daily life, to question our role, to denote the limits of our powers.