George Saunders has described the question at the core of this book as, “How do we continue to love in a world in which the objects of our love are so conditional?” Did you find this to be true, and do you feel like you came to a deeper understanding of mortality?

This core question Saunders presents is for sure in line with what I sensed within his book Lincoln in the Bardo.


What is the bardo, and how does it function in George Saunders’s book? In what way does the bardo apply to those who are living as well as the dead?

The bardo is, in Tibetan Buddhism belief, a state of existence between death and rebirth. In his story, Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders, a Tibetan Buddhist, writes of the bardo in a way which, to me, made it feel more like a state between death and whatever lay beyond death. Which, I suppose, is more or less the same thing.

With the Lincoln in the Bardo title, there is…


Why might Krauss have given her novel the title The History of Love, the same as that of the fictional book around which her narrative centers?

Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love is, at least I found it to be, is a masterpiece. I made it a bit hard for myself to follow along with the storyline by taking a multi-week break in the middle of reading the book, but that only makes me want to reread the work at some point in my life even more.

But, anyway, that doesn’t answer the question, at least not really. I see…


You may often be asked why you are studying (majoring or minoring) or even why you’re taking courses in English. As we are approaching the last few weeks of the course, how might you explain why studying texts and their meaning has become important? So, why English?

When my senior year of high was nearing its end, people in my life began inquiring about my college plans. And when I would first tell them that I was planning to major in English, their immediate reaction was to ask, ‘oh, so you want to teach?’

*sigh* My answer was always roughly…


Read and Respond (however you would like) to “The Perils of Choose Your Own Adventure Books.

In this article for The Atlantic, now former writer for the publication Alana Semuels writes of her experiences reading books in the Choose Your Own Adventure series as a child, calling into question the lessons these books may imply about decision-making in the real world. She goes as far as to blame a small part of her struggle with decision-making even in her adult life on the CYOA stories. …


Haas mentions that a wampum is “a hybridization of the oral tradition and symbolism is woven into the material rhetoric.” Where else do we see this hybridization? Where else can hypertextuality take place? What other seemingly-non-related things function similarly to hypertext? To social media?

This idea might be a mile off, but when I was trying to think of places or ways we see a hybridization of symbolism and material rhetoric, I thought of the concept of Disneybounding.

Disneybounding, from my understanding, is essentially putting an outfit together with typical clothes which resemble a Disney character; without explicitly wearing a…


The Great Gatsby’s title was not Fitzgerald’s choice and never his favorite. How would the book’s reception be changed if it were instead calledTrimalchio in West Egg,” “The High-Bouncing Lover,” “Gold-Hatted Gatsby, or “Among Ash Heaps and Millionaires”?

While I cannot speak definitively for every reader or book-peruser out there, I do have my own opinions as to how I would receive — or perceive — The Great Gatsby, had it been titled something else of the choices Fitzgerald considered, preferred.

Trimalchio in West Egg, upon first glance, having read the story before, makes only partial sense to me…


What is the experience of reading The Great Gatsby as a graphic novel so far?

Four chapters in, just shy of the halfway point — finally, a fair bit behind schedule — and I am rather enjoying the experience of reading The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel.

It’s sort of like seeing the movie adaptation of a book. But, in my case, a book that I have not read, as I’ve said, in around five years. Aside from a few names and one specific incident in the story, I pretty much remembered nothing of the original work before I started…


What is your familiarity with The Great Gatsby? Have you read it before? More than once? At different times in your life? What adaptations with The Great Gatsby have you seen?

The Great Gatsby and I go back to tenth grade, which sounds like not that long ago. But the strength of my memory would disagree with that assessment.

I just found a word document working with The Great Gatsby in my Google Drive dated April 2016, so it has been around five years since I read the book for my tenth grade English 3 Honors class. I’m pretty sure…


A reflection on Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler.

You, as a reader, are directly addressed and involved in the narrative of Calvino’s text. Did you feel this to be limiting in any way? Did you see yourself in the text? In what ways is Calvino’s text subversive?

Do you know those guided relaxation or focus exercises? Those things where somebody tells you in a calm voice, “Picture a beach. Watch the waves moving in the wind,” and on and on. Or however those scripts go. I hope that was a decent enough description of what I’m…

Jessica Shealy

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