Can Business Rescue the Humanities?

While Plato ruefully proposed to banish the poet from his Republic, today’s Humanities aficionados may seek to bar businesspersons from their club. Yet the Humanities are in crisis, as usual, perhaps for lack of sound business sense, while the sound business sensors, often viewed as eschewing the Humanities, may be nipping in the basement of…

The Bare Bodkin of the English Major

“To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin,” says Mark Twain’s duke as he prepares to take down the house with an encore of Hamlet’s soliloquy. Where’s an English major when you need one? They were no doubt in short supply in the Mississippi Valley in the early nineteenth century, and their…

Hemingway surfing and writing

We’ve been enjoying the El Porto Fridays blog. We can still feel the El Porto sand beneath our feet, the foam rushing over our board, the morning glass, the afternoon chop, the evening glass-off. We surfed there in the 60’s and 70’s, before heading out, like Huck Finns, for the territory, ahead of all the…

Reading Roland Barthes’s Writing Degree Zero on Line 15

What would Roland Barthes have said about the snippets of poetry published among the ad displays, public service announcements, and caution notes headlining the interior of local bus Line 15?   The poetry placards please riders through a program called, somewhat fancifully, Poetry in Motion, though the poems move relative only to someone off the…