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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Responsibility...

Because one has a certain responsibility, after all... to those books one picks up to read... that's the reason why I am continuing reading Robert Stone's "Dog Soldiers." I am sort of lost as to how even minor characters seem to know much more than the protagonist. John Converse returns from Vietnam to find that the man who he entrusted the cargo of heroin to has runaway with the cargo and also with his wife, Marge. Converse hears all about this from his own father-in-law. How this minor character gets to know exactly what is happening, we never know. After this there's the obligatory torture scene, complete with tough guys and handcuffs. I don't think I was in the mood to read this book. However, I do have to say that Stone's prose style is clear and good. This makes you read further and faster, and to a certain extent enjoy the fragile ties that hold the language to the plot and the characters.

This coming week is the anniversary of my coming back from the war. It seems like ages ago... I suppose because it was indeed a lifetime ago. I have decided to confront some of the left-over demons and go to my local Veterans of Foreign Wars meeting hall and have a beer :-) This past weekend was the funeral service for Lance Corporal Daniel Scherry. He was killed April 16. I can't imagine how much pain that family must have gone through, or must still be going through. May he rest in peace.

Teaching wise things are absolutely on track, and with some work caught up I have ventured to do some more reading and writing. I've also posted some lectures on the current unit on a brand new "YouTube" channel. Next semester there will be a new English teacher and she is an expert writing teacher and poet. I am really delighted to have a creative heart around here... God knows it is needed. I really have a great deal of hope for our English department next year.

Next on my list is William Gass' "Finding a Form." It is a collection of essays by the master of the form here in America.

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