The Thinking 
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The Lovely Bones of Helga

January 29, 2010



In the ongoing discussion on idealized feminine beauty, one reader recommends the famous Helga paintings by Andrew Wyeth. Above is his painting Cape Coat.

Wyeth said:

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape – the loneliness of it – the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it – the whole story doesn’t show.



Post-literate and Post-thought

January 29, 2010




It is often said that while today’s college students lack the reading habits of past generations, they make up for this relative unfamiliarity with the written word with a greater visual and auditory literacy that allows them to navigate the modern world of images and the spoken word.

Thomas F. Bertonneau, a professor of literature and film studies, argues here that this is not so. The less reading a student does, the less likely he is to understand even movies. He writes:

I have taught film and popular-culture courses at the college level in Michigan and New York during a twenty-year period and, during the same period, have taught literature—classics in translation, American literature (nineteenth and twentieth century), poetry, literary theory, genre fiction, and much else. Given that experience, I find no validity in the strained romantic hope that the inadequately lettered and spottily informed student will prove somehow to be cognitively sharp in domains “beyond” the book…

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