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Tag Archives: Kent State University

Required Reading

I haven’t read many books recently because I’ve been reading Bleak House, Charles Dickens’s 800-page novel of 1853. It was supposed to be my winter break project, but I started it late, after New Years, and it’s seeped into the second semester, which started two weeks ago. I’m surprised it’s taking me this long, but […]

KSU and the English Language

In his 1950 essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell wrote that the English language was in a bad way, hastening to clarify that he wasn’t talking about bad grammar. Instead, he was talking about verbosity, empty metaphors, and, ultimately, misleading political language. If he hoped his prescient essay would clean things up, he […]

Moby and Me

Howard Vincent, author of two books about Herman Melville, The Trying-Out of Moby-Dick (1949) and The Tailoring of Melville’s White Jacket (1970), was my favorite professor at Kent State University. He had, in my memory, an elfin appearance: white of hair, bushy of brow, red of cheek. Quintessentially professorial, he wasn’t imposing, at only about five and a […]