Category: history

Writing and Responding

Braiding Sweetgrass (2015) is a book about the contemporary relationship between plants and people.  More specifically, it is about the conflict and potential reconciliation between a botanical, scientific, written understanding of plants, and the orally transmitted...

Inherit the Wind

If you google “inherit the wind,” you’re overwhelmed with information about the film by that name from 1960. It is a dramatization of the infamous 1925 Scopes Trial, in which a schoolteacher is accused...

“Modernism”

David Antin’s wonderful remark about modernism has been coming back to me a lot lately: “From the modernism you want, you get the postmodernism you deserve”.  I’m guessing he said it sometime in the 1970s...

Educated and Groundless

I finished reading Educated yesterday, Tara Westover’s memoir of her survivalist Mormon upbringing and subsequent separation from it. By her account, the separation was achieved by means of formal education.  Only once in the book...

Family Lexicon

Before I learned of Ginzburg’s book, I used the phrase “family lexicon”(incorrectly, I think in retrospect) as the domain name for a website of family photographs. The project crashed and burned for the best...