Bookmarks: 11/24/13 – 12/15/13

Just finished submitting my first round of applications for graduate school. Here’s a painting someone once did to show my reaction to the whole experience…

“The Scream” (1893), painted by grad school applicant and family friend Edvard Munch. Image source:

Now for some good news! Yesterday’s post on Northrop Frye and The Educated Imagination was my tenth for “Shelf Reflections,” so to save creative effort mark the occasion I decided to compile a quick review of what’s happened so far – both on this blog and (in terms of reading) in real life. It’s a feature I’ve decided to call “Bookmarks,” at least for the time being, so keep your eyes peeled for these neat (and, I hope, light-hearted) indexes after every set of ten posts.


The last ten posts, summarized in ten words each:

1. First post (11/24): Willkommen! Bienvenue! Bienvenidos! Benvenuto! أهلا وسهلا! 歡迎光臨!

2. Oliver Wendell Holmes (11/24): American renaissance man writes masterpiece; saves lives; inaugurates literary consciousness.

3. Food for thought (11/26): Sure, they ate well. But what did they eat, exactly?

4. Empty gestures (12/1): Four men, three hats, two acts, one play. Nothing happens.

5. Hyphenated-Americans (12/4): How one man’s metaphor for blackness influences broader American consciousness.

6. Literary South Africa (12/6): A republic of words and writers of remarkably different backgrounds.

7. Soccer and books, Part I (12/8): Never going to be an easy combination. Everyone else agreed.

8. Soccer and books, Part II (12/10): Would Emerson make a great keeper? Who can anchor midfield?

9. Objects and poetry (12/12): What happens when representations become the very things they represent?

10. Northrop Frye (12/14): Canada’s late leading critic and his thoughts on educated imaginations.

Five non-required things you must should will might(?) read:

1. In Bed With Maradona ran a fantastic feature on this year’s one-hundred young soccer prospects from around the world. An excellent read, no matter how you feel about soccer.

2. A superb column (from October) in The Guardian by Neil Gaiman, who explores why it’s important for Brits (and anyone else, for that matter) to keep reading and dreaming. Sounds familiar…

3. John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), which I’m currently reading – and, I have to admit, enjoying.

4. Another Northrop Frye quote, this time from his preface to The Bush Garden (1971):

[A] sense of unity is the opposite of a sense of uniformity. Uniformity, where everyone ‘belongs,’ uses the same clichés, thinks alike and behaves alike, produces a society which seems comfortable at first but is totally lacking in human dignity. Real unity tolerates dissent and rejoices in variety of outlook and tradition, recognizes that it is man’s destiny to unite and not divide…Unity, so understood, is the extra dimension that raises the sense of belonging into genuine human life. Nobody of any intelligence has any business being loyal to an ideal of uniformity: what one owes one’s loyalty to is an ideal of unity, and a distrust of such a loyalty is rooted in a distrust of life itself.

5. On the back of that Frye post: Derek Thompson’s cutting critique on how educated, or not, we’ve become. From The Atlantic.

And last but not least…six favorite locations on a chessboard:

1. A4

2. F7

3. H1

4. E4

5. C6

6. G3

About csquaredetc

I'm a graduate student in English at the University of Pennsylvania (or "Penn" for short). My most prolific writing is on The Hong Kong Project, a blog about my former experience as an exchange student:
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