American Lit Podcast #8 Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

Emerson burst onto the American intellectual scene by more or less inventing that American intellectual scene. Emerson collected around him a group of like-minded intellectuals who played out, in their own careers, this same search for American identity. His first publication, Nature, calls for a distinctly American way of looking at the enduring questions of human existence. You might expect from the title “Nature” that Emerson is writing about sunsets and butterflies, but…

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T. S. Eliot and his Jellicle Cats

Like Caryn Thurman, I came to Cats (the musical) late, after studying and teaching the more “serious” works of T.S. Eliot. While Thurman’s interpretation is not necessary for us to understand and appreciate Cats, it’s still an appealing thought. It’s also worth noting that Grizabella is one of the only characters in Cats that does not appear in Old Possum’s Book. This may be too big a stretch (as if…