In Frankenstein (originally published January 1818), Mary Shelley questions what makes one human, ultimately questioning the meaning of life. When Dr. Victor Frankenstein imbues his cadaverous monster with life, he has become a God-like creator, and his monster, a gigantic being with the ability to feel all emotions and use all of his senses, is

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Eliezer Wiesel was a deeply observant 13-year-old Jewish boy when Moishe the Beadle came to his town with descriptions of the horrors of the war, where Jewish men, women, and children were buried in graves they had themselves dug. No one in Eliezer’s town of Sighet in Hungary believed this was happening. It only a

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Heart of Darkness (1902) by Joseph Conrad is considered by many to be one of the best novels written in the English language, a fact made all the more remarkable to me by the fact that Joseph Conrad wrote in not his first or second language but his third language, a language he learned after

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Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (published 2006) tells the story of the Nigerian Civil War, when the minority, repressed Igbos in Southeastern Nigeria established the independent republic of Biafra. My understanding of the war comes from my reading of the novel, but I did also reference Wikipedia. (Adichie mentions in an

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Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is creepy. Dorian Gray, as an innocent and attractive young man, in a fit of passion exclaimed: How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June. …

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When I reviewed and analyzed Julius Caesar in depth back in June, I expected that I’d do the same with all the other Shakespeare plays I read while I have had this blog. And yet, I cannot “analyze” Macbeth. While I enjoyed reading Macbeth, it was not a “deep” reading experience for me. I’ve found

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I always had a tender spot in my heart for Sesame Street’s Count von Count. He had his organ and a mysterious castle, and mysterious music. I love Toccata and Fugue to this day. (My dad can play it on the organ and it sounds so cool!). The Count was just plain cool. Now that

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