Striving for an Ideal World: Art and Reality in Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle

Over the past few days, I've been reading The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. It's a novel that imagines a world in which the United States lost World War II. Within this world, Americans living on the west coast are regarded (and, indeed, regard themselves) as social inferiors to their Japanese…Read more Striving for an Ideal World: Art and Reality in Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle

Is Billy Pilgrim Crazy?

A student of mine recently asked whether Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist (for lack of a better word) of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, has, within the context of the narrative (such as it is) really experienced a close encounter with aliens or simply lost his mind. The question is certainly valid. When I first read the…Read more Is Billy Pilgrim Crazy?

Quips, Retorts, and Reproofs in Shakespeare

I was just reading Shakespeare's As You Like It (because that's the kind of classy guy I am) when I got tripped up on some of Touchstone's dialogue in Act V, scene iv, but after giving the matter some thought, I think I've figured it out. Of course, Shakespeare scholars will likely say either A)…Read more Quips, Retorts, and Reproofs in Shakespeare