Filed under American literature

Second Person Pronouns

Atlas Obscura is a great source of obscure information, though often flawed by lack of research, but here’s an article that got me thinking. For all its history and variety, English has no plural form of the second person pronoun. Unlike other European languages, it also has no polite/informal forms. AO find the latter … Continue reading

Junger on Mass Killings

This is another piece from the book Tribe On Homecoming and Belonging by award winning journalist Sebastian Junger: The ultimate act of disaffiliation isn’t littering or fraud, of course, but violence against your own people. When the Navajo Nation … were rounded up and confined to a reservation in the 1860s, a terrifying phenomenon became … Continue reading

Haboob versus Sandstorm

This is from the i paper a few days ago: A wall of dust raced toward Lubbock, Texas, on Sunday, and the National Weather Service crew out caution on its Facebook page. ‘A haboob is rapidly approaching the Lubbock airport and may affect the city as well.” the meteorologist wrote . The use of the … Continue reading

A Radical Priest, R.I.P.

A Radical Priest, R.I.P.

With declining church attendance, fewer of us are aware of the differences between the various Christian churches, especially the various branches of the Catholic church. When I was researching the history of South America, I became fascinated by the Jesuits, who founded missions there t protect the native peoples from slavery. Their group was founded … Continue reading

Native American Historian

We mostly measure history in terms of years, or perhaps in generations, but memories can be closer than this system suggests. My grandfather was born about a century ago, and he could tell us tales of the gold rushes in Victoria in the 1860s. The last of the soldiers of the Great War have only … Continue reading

Anthony Burgess and Utopias

Great literature often involves inventing new forms of language, and few writers have done this better than Anthony Burgess in ‘Clockwork Orange’, with a language for his thugs based loosely on Russian. This is his choice of dystopian stories. I’ve not read the JP Hartley or Mailer; I think my favourite is Ridley Walker, again … Continue reading

Minority Travel

We tend to take travel for granted in the internet age, but here’s some information on a book that should never have needed to be written: The Negro Traveller’s Green Book listing safe places to go. What surprises me is that it covers not just the USA, but Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean where such … Continue reading