Various News & Thoughts . . .

College Schedule:

Mon. & Wed: ENG 102, at 2:00 p.m. & 3:30 p.m

ENG 101 5:00-6:15 p.m.

Tues. & Thurs:  Academic Seminar 12:30-1:45 p.m.

Tuesday Only: American Literature till 1865 (ULM) 5:00-7:45 p.m.

Two Important Future Speaking Engagements:

I’ve been booked to speak at the Louisiana Reading Association Conference, Tuesday, October 28, from 3:15-4:15 Shreveport, LA, and at the Arkansas Reading Association Conference, Thursday Nov. 21, 12:30-1:30 p.m.  My topic  for both presentations is: “Why Authors Should Fall to Their Knees and Worship Librarians.”

Reviving Interest in a Forgotten Novel:

Sometime ago at a reading workshop at West Monroe High School on a Saturday, I won a class set of 30 books from Glencoe as a door prize.  They have a very impressive list, but I decided instantly which book I wanted: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I love teaching this novel.  Since I own the books, I decided to assign Frankenstein to one of my ENG 102 classes to be the topic of their research paper. So I checked a copy out to each student, had them sign a promise to pay me $15.00 if the book were lost, and we covered some of the highlights of the novel.

After you get them past the monster/Hollywood version (over a hundred movie versions) and the stereotypes, students learn that Frankenstein is a novel of ideas. The primary one is: What is the responsibility of the creator to his creation? That topic, always present even when unsaid, and the other themes of the novel create much thought. I think that after digesting good books like this, the reader never looks at life the same. Such books feed the mind, are cathartic to the heart, and enrich our cultural and historical understanding. Today, we read “The Golem,” which is the Jewish version of Frankenstein.  In my study and teaching of the Gothic novel of Shelley and the Jewish version, “The Golem,” I’ve learned much about myself, human nature generally, society, and the nature of the universe.

I am going to try to book some high school/college gifted programs focussed on Frankenstein and on World War I poets. I’ve got great workshops put together for both of these topics. I’m sure I’ll have more posts on this topic in the future.