Monday, December 12, 2005

Last Class

Ah, tonight is my last personal essay class. And tonight my essay is among the four to be discussed. I'm a bit nervous, but my sister, who has never hesitated to tell me if something I do is s---, has read it and declared it "okay." So at least I can be confident that it won't be thought bad. The catalog for the next term is out and I am considering a class built around the study of Margaret Atwood's book Wilderness Tips. I read the book a number of years ago and enjoyed it. The point of the class is to study Atwood's writing in order to learn how she puts her stories together. It is a six-week class, the culmination of which is a short sotry of the student's own. That's in February, so I have some time to decide. There is a somewhat thought-provoking article at the NY Times about literature and politics. The essayist bemoans the loss of literary engagement in politics and political engagement in literature. I think the person must not be paying attention. We do not find "high" literature, the kind that Hawthorne and Melville wrote, engaged in politics much these days. Perhaps it is because the audience for "high" literature has shrunk. I think politically inclined writers are still working, they just tend to be more subtle than they used to be. I also think they tend to be poets and the general public does not pay attention to poetry. Speaking of politics, if you are interested in doing something quick and easy to try and stop the renewal of the USA Patriot Act, sign the petition to support a filibuster when the bill comes up for a vote.