Archive for Writing

Lolita is Back…

Marilynn and I have been battling for years over the derivation and significance of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov’s infamous 1955 novel. To refresh your memory, the first-person narrator is a middle-aged literature professor obsessed with a 12-year-old girl whom he nicknames Lolita and with whom he becomes sexually involved after marrying her mother. The premise is creepy, but the book is an acknowledged masterpiece of world literature often cited as one of the best books of the 20th century.

Our disagreement centers on her belief that the book could only have been written by someone who experienced or fantasized about what is described in its pages, while I think it’s a work of pure literary imagination. The Annotated Lolita unpacks my side of the story. The Nabokov text in The Annotated Lolita is 309 pages, but the book is itself is 455 pages, including Editor Alfred Appel Jr.’s 67-page introduction, 6 pages of bibliography, 6 pages of Nabokov notes, and 138 pages of annotations. Serious scholarship. read more

What’s Next for Us?

I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering how America got itself into the current dystopian mess – hate crimes, mass murderers, white supremacists, voter suppression, QAnon, and thousands of American “patriots” storming the US Capitol, with some intent on murdering the Vice President for performing his Constitutional duty. Maybe if we knew how we got here we could turn things around. The question is how did we get here?

Three recent Supreme Court cases may tell the story. They are:

1. Bush v. Gore (2000) read more

A Modern Adaptation…

A glooming peace this morning with it brings, The sun for sorrow will not show its head. Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things, Some shall be pardoned and some punished. For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

Then and Now…

In the waning days of World War II, France was deeply divided. Invaded in 1940, it quickly capitulated and for four years was humiliated by the German occupation and puppet government in Vichy. 

Local Resistance cells were established throughout the country to aid the Allies and Free French Forces of General Charles de Gaulle’s government in exile, but the majority of French citizens kept their heads down, went carefully about their business, and submitted to the humiliating occupation.  read more

The Grift that Keeps on Grifting…

Fifty-eight days and counting… but the criminal enterprise shows no signs of slowing. It’s not Rudy Giuliani’s creepy, pathetic “voter fraud” claims, or the Republicans’ silence on the presidential election, not even that America’s biggest loser skipped work to play golf during the G-20 Summit. No, it’s all the other mean spirited obstructionist activity surrounding the Grifter-in-Chief.

So much attention has been devoted to his reluctance to acknowledge Biden’s victory that much of the grift is still below the waterline. Nevertheless, his enablers continue to do damage that will limit the incoming administration’s ability to act in critical areas. Here are the most recent and egregious examples: read more