Monthly Archives: February 2009

When a Sense of Place is a Sense of Motion

I’ve been thinking a lot about staying alive by thinking about place.  One of the common situations for those of us that pursue intellectual work is finding one’s way into a life, as Wallace Stegner once put it, where a … Continue reading

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Dimensions of Academic Life

When Dante comes to himself in the dark wood, he has no idea where he is.  Somehow, he realizes, he has strayed from the right path.  He feels disoriented and confused.  It is only after Virgil appears that he begins … Continue reading

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Where We Are Coming From

Dante’s Divine Comedy begins with the protagonist coming to himself in a dark wood, astray from the right path, lost and depressed. He feels abandoned and alone; he can’t think straight; he’s easily intimidated by phantoms.  Fear clouds his reason … Continue reading

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An Invitation

“Quiet desperation” was Thoreau’s term for the malaise he observed in his home town of Concord.   He attributed it to people’s habit of focusing on the wrong things, on the superficial cares and duties of daily work instead of the … Continue reading

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