Nicholson Baker’s Case Against Algebra II

baker against algebra

The debate over standards in high school math has been going on for a very long time, but things seemed to come to a pretty nasty head last year when the New York Times ran the article Is Algebra Necessary? Background Material Bloggers and educators were outraged on both sides and started throwing mud. In … Read more

Upstream Color Explained and Review

upstream color

Last night I watched Upstream Color, the new Shane Carruth movie, for the third time. It is a pretty difficult and abstract film. I’m not sure when I’m next going to watch it. I want to record some half-formed ideas I have about it, so I can refresh my memory in the future if I … Read more

Room 237 and Some Postmodern Problems

room 237 postmodern

I think everyone involved in academia should see the movie Room 237 but for some strange reasons. The movie is a fascinating look at some people who, to put it mildly, are obsessed with Stanley Kubrick’s movie The Shining. Watching Room 237 They’ve developed all sorts of theories about hidden messages in the film: Is … Read more

Biblical Topos in Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy

sanderson mistborn

I recently finished reading Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me. Why can’t I just read a book and enjoy it for once? Instead, I became obsessed with the religious symbolism of the books and what they meant. My theories distracted me. Partway through the last book, I got annoyed … Read more

The Passion Narrative in Mark and Luke

passion narrative

The passion narrative as presented in Mark and Luke provides a great source for literary criticism and textual analysis. These are skills any great writer should have at their disposal. This is one of my favorite topics to read about, but I’ve always had a policy of keeping my posts as non-controversial as possible. I … Read more

The Literature of Exhaustion and Originality

literature of exhaustion

I thought I’d share an argument that I first learned from the essay “The Literature of Exhaustion” by John Barth. It is in his The Friday Book. It’s something that used to come up all the time when I was an undergraduate music major, and it usually comes up now in the form of literature. … Read more

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides Review

eugenides middlesex

I’ve always had an aversion to Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I never understood why it was so universally acclaimed by everyone I spoke to. The main plot is about two siblings that get married and have a child, who then goes on to marry his first cousin, who then has a child that is a … Read more

Frank Herbert’s Dune Explained and Reviewed

herbert dune

In this article, I’ll explain some of the core symbols and ideas of Frank Herbert’s Dune as I see it. The Review Well, the plane trip across the country allowed me the time needed to read most of Dune. I’ll start out by saying that this book was very challenging for me at first. Dune … Read more

Joanna Newsom Ys Review: Art Done Right

joanna newsom ys

Joanna Newsom’s Ys is a polarizing album. But it’s the quintessential example of art done right. Read on for my analysis and philosophy of art.