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Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Can we find another way to approach romance, without fantasy and fear, without listening to the fearful voice inside ourselves that finds a way to keep love at a ...My Sweet Old Etcetera
my sweet old etceteraJabberwocky
'Twas brillig, and the slithy tovesHeart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness has been considered for most of this century not only as a literary classic, but as a powerful indictment of the evils of imperialism. It reflects the savage repressions carried out in the Congo by the Belgians in one of the largest acts of genocide committed up to that time. Conrad's narrator encounters at the end of the story a man named Kurtz, dying, insane, and guilty of unspeakable atrocities. More recently, African critics like Chinua Achebe have pointed out that the story can be read as a racist or colonialist parable in which Africans are depicted as innately irrational and violent, and in which Africa itself is reduced to a metaphor for that which white Europeans fear within themselves. The people of Africa and the land they live in remain inscrutably alien, other. The title, they argue, implies that Africa is the "heart of darkness," where whites who "go native" risk releasing the "savage" within themselves. Defenders of Conrad sometimes argue that the narrator does not speak in Conrad's own voice, and that a layer of irony conceals his true views. ...Analects
Confucius (with the kind permission of Paul Brians )
The sayings of Confucius were remembered by his followers and were later compiled in a book of Analects (sayings), perhaps having been expanded on in the meantime. Through them we discover Confucius' notions of the virtues, i.e., the positive character traits, to which we should aspire. Foremost among these is Filial Piety, the respect which children owe to parents--and by extension, wives owe to husbands, sisters to brothers, and everyone to ancestors. When such virtue is cultivated in the home, it is supposed to carry over into one's relations in affairs of state as well. ...Kubla Khan or, a Vision In a Dream: A Fragment (1816)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Coleridge was responsible for attempting to present the supernatural as real whereas his friend William Wordsworth would try to render ordinary reality as remarkable, strange. He suffered great physical and emotional pain during his life and became addicted to opium. He claimed that this poem came to him in an opium dream. It opens with an enigmatic but precise description of an emperor's pleasure dome located in an enchanted, savage spot where a woman cries for her demon lover and the sacred river is flung up violently, then meanders before plunging through caverns into a sunless sea. In trying to interpret this symbolic site we can begin by seeing the dome as a human creation (art) built in and over nature's beauty and power. Note that in the last part of the poem the newly introduced "I" has a vision in which, inspired by a singing woman, he would imaginatively recreate in air the Khan's dome. The artist who could accomplish this would be regarded with awe and even fear by those from whom he is separated by his inspiration. The poem is also a classic case of European fantasizing about the exotic and luxurious ...
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