View RSS Feed


I Think of the Small Things. . . .

Rate this Entry
We just finished final presentations in my classes. I teach -- community college, English & Philosophy (picked up Masters Degree #2 in Philosophy a couple years ago; this enables me to teach the love of wisdom to American CC students). I think of Sara's presentation of whether American Literature matters: it was expertly organized and focused on emotional intelligence. Sure, she picked up on a thread that I was communicatin' to them: that one of literature's practical uses is to train us emotionally. I've never bought the whole "objective reading" line -- it's fine and harmless. But I'm not after harmless.

Anyway, Sara addressed Fanny Fern's novel Ruth Hall. It's about a 19th-century woman whom Fortune robs her of traditional happiness. She then has to rise, Ben Franklin like, to be a successful business woman despite of her family, not because of it. Anyway, Sara loved that book -- she's from a successful family. She was planning to be a high school teacher. But now she's going to take over the family business. I never could tell if she made that decision out of a feeling of obligation or out of a genuine desire. But it hardly matters. Ruth Hall spoke to her directly, echoed the thoughts she had about herself.

The best reading experiences are like that -- they're a sort of spiritual or emotional mirror. I mean, we live in a age of the image, of the selfie which gives us constant reference to our physical bodies. It's difficult to take a spiritual selfie, but maybe we can read one.

Updated 01-03-2016 at 10:47 PM by The Comedian



  1. Virgil's Avatar
    Nice to see you Comedian! Glad to see your apparently doing well. I don't stop here that often - unfortunately I don't have the time for Lit Net any more - but it's always a pleasure to see old friends when I do.

    I had never heard of Ruth Hall. I'll have to catalog in my memory banks.
  2. The Comedian's Avatar
    Hey Virgil -- good to see you too. I took a long break from Lit Net, a break that I never intended to be as long as it was. Life is good, busy. But it always is. I'm hoping to be more of a presence here. Lit Net was good for me.