Chronicles Magazine Literature

The Poet and the Plowman

Surprisingly often we talked about Vergil, usually about the Aeneid, but sometimes about the Georgics, and then with the wry sentimental fondness of old students who had been made, not quite willingly, to go to school to the poem.

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    Haunted by Yesterday

    Nothing is more dangerous for the critic than taking a book cover at face value. But when the blurbs compare the author to William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and Saul Bellow, the challenge is irresistible.

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    The Re-Possessed

    Among other, more profound things, Dostoevski's anti-revolutionary novel, The Possessed, is a withering dissection of liberal intellectuals. In its pages, liberals parade as hostile and irresponsible critics of a society that affords most of them...

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    The Maze of Metaphor

    Jacques Derrida has in recent years made himself one of the most influential figures in literary criticism on American college campuses. The movement he has inspired, alternately known as "deconstruction" or "poststructuralism," asserts that all...

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    Flightless Bird

    Many see in Kurt Vonnegut a menace to society. Since the late 1960's, parents' groups and school boards in several states have launched drives to keep Slaughterhouse Five and other Vonnegut novels out of libraries and off syllabi.

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    Redeemer Novel

    Some years ago Ernest Tuveson argued in his landmark study Redeemer Nation that our country's Puritan background has led it through a series of historical crusades—from Indian wars to Vietnam—to bring righteousness to a corrupt world.

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