A Darwinian view of whether religion is meaningful and beneficial to society.Read More
Marilynne Robinson began her novel Housekeeping while completing a dissertation on Shakespeare as a graduate student. Initially she wrote what now form the book’s preliminary scenes as exercises in extended metaphors. Evoking her childhood home of Sandpoint, Idaho, a lake town in the panhandle of the state (in the book she renames it Fingerbone) and remotely drawing off her ancestors, Robinson simply wanted to see if she could still write something other than scholastic essays. Also, she has said, she wanted to impress her friends.Read More
‘But hush, for I have lost the theme. . .'
A party of young people takes advantage of a beautiful blue-sky spring afternoon to have a picnic. The men are all trim and waistcoated, the women wear their hair in shapely turrets, with long white gloves on their hands. Baskets of fruit, an ice-bucket filled with bottles of sweet wine, and platters of coldcuts weight the picnic blanket. The air is clear and the nearby trees are gently swaying. The talk is quicksilver, invigorating.Read More