Melanie Bettinelli

Mwindo Epic and other ideas for World Lit

I found a short essay on this African epic in the anthology of lectures from the Dallas Institute. It could be a good text to teach for World Lit. Since it was recorded in 1950 it definitely fits the time frame and I like the idea of teaching...

snow again?

This is the sort of night that the phrase “winter wonderland” was coined to describe. though I might actually prefer “fairyland.” After raining all day it turned to snow at evening and the wetness is making the snow stick to...


“…people do not learn from experience; they learn from reflection and interpretation.”—Louise Cowan “The Odyssey and the Efficacy of the Imagination”

two interesting articles

The Political Problem of Islam the title speaks for itself. good summary of history of Islamic political thought. Jerusalem’s Claim on Us about the paradox of Greek and Hebrew influence in the Western intellectual tradition. You can also hear...


I feel so helpless, knowing Terri is in pain alone in a hospital room, far away. I know I am not really helpless, I’ve prayed for her, with her. I talked to her for awhile and I could tell just that calmed her, distracted her at least. But I...

teaching Hamlet

A while back I ordered some books from the Dallas Institute, among them The Tragic Abyss. Now that I am teaching Hamlet once again, I thought to see if there was an essay on it in the book. There was. A very good one. I have known intuitively that...

Reading Lolita in Tehran

I was mildly intrigued by this book, but probably would never have bought it. Then Diane gave it to me for Christmas. I wanted to read it, but maybe because it has been so popular was a little afraid it would be a disappointment. One of those books...

in the office

My new office is cold, my hands are icy, but it has a great view. One wall is all windows, looking out onto a snow-filled courtyard. I am up on the third floor of the library, outside my open door students come and go looking for books or a quiet...

tree’s live journal

good entry yesterday on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
I don’t really know what to say about it, she really speaks for herself much more eloquently than I can.

The Selfish Giant

This was one of my favorite stories when I was little. It still makes me cry.