Adorno

Present Tense

In my house live a literary critic and a historian. They do not always get along. Aside from differing views on paint colors, dinner choices, and departure times, a regular dispute erupts concerning verb tenses: present tense or past tense? When you write about a book, do you describe its action in the present tense (Hamlet whines) or in the past tense (Hamlet whined)?

Readability

David Pogue, who miraculously manages to remain both an enthusiast for all things technological while, at the same time, starting a small insurrection against cell phone companies, has now convinced me not to worry about which edition of Shakespeare my students use.

Update: Total Eclipse

Who says close reading is only for English professors?  How improbable is it that I would write an update to my slog about “Total Eclipse of the Heart”?  Apparently, not very improbable at all.  Criticism, it seems, can be interesting and useful and not boring.  My friend VW stopped reading Greek long enough  to send me “Total Eclipse Of the Heart” made into a flow chart.