Memory, the Great Books, and Lady Gaga 2.17.17


  1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

I read this once in high school, but revisiting it as an adult has proven to be rewarding. One of my graduate courses is a seminar on Dickens and his work, so we’re getting acquainted. I fell in love with his comedic Pickwick Papers, and this later work has some of the same charm but with more depth. If you’re interested in the act of memory, and how it shapes our future, then this is a good read. Or if you want to laugh, but still explore themes such as death, innocence, and memory, pick this up! It’s long, but it will keep your interest.

  1. The Prelude by William Wordsworth

My other graduate course is called Structures of Poetry, and we’re slowly working through this text. I appreciate my professor’s idea of “living” with a text over a long period of time (a semester), and I’m slowly warming up to Wordsworth’s autobiographical account. The best part is reading David Copperfield at the same time, as both texts are experiments in memory. Wordsworth writes about “spots of time,” or moments of epiphany in his past, as he catches glimpses of beauty and the sublime in nature.

  1. The Gospel According to Lady Gaga by Richard Beck

There are several reasons I am interested in this post: 1) the SuperBowl was in Houston!; 2) Lady Gaga came to my church on SuperBowl Sunday—and no, I didn’t see her, because she was at the early early service, and no, most people didn’t recognize her, and no, I’m not familiar with her current faith status; and 3) the author is a professor from my alma mater. Those may not be YOUR reasons for reading this article, but I highly recommend taking a few moments to look at it! This is an insightful and provocative look into Lady Gaga’s career and fans.

  1. What To Say When Your Students Hate a Classic Book by Joshua Gibbs

Obviously a great post to read if you are a teacher or student, and Josh Gibbs does a delightful job of defending the idea of Great Books. But this post also encourages other questions to be asked—for those of you who care about education—that are just as important: is education about entertaining students? Should we make them read challenging texts? What is valuable about an education in literature? If you are a teacher, or student, or parent, or human being (I think that covers everyone),  these underlying questions of education are important to consider.



2 thoughts on “Memory, the Great Books, and Lady Gaga 2.17.17

  1. Charles Dickens introduced me to great literature, starting with A Tale of Two Cities. But David Copperfield became a favorite when I played Mr. Creakle and Mr. Dick (yes, both parts) in a stage production. I enjoyed re-reading it afterward and understanding the story as a whole having seen it.


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