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Posts tagged "Marilynne Robinson"


Another Week Ends: Bland Land, Digital Burnout, Pale Beyond, Dominion of Jack, Guilt Lit, Depression Meals, and Electric Jesus

1. Hum, Quip, Goby, Burst, Boka, Brüush, Gleem, Shyn — these are just a few of the brands, or “blands,” seeking to disrupt the toothbrush industry right now. If you’ve scrolled through Instagram recently, no doubt you’ve seen others trying to do the same in other industries. Caspar, Harry’s, Oscar, Burrow, Keeps, Roman, Rumpl, the […]

The Reproachful Lectures of a Father: People-Watching in Gilead

If mid-twentieth-century Gilead were a real place, I would certainly buy a bus ticket there. This fictional Iowa town of Marilynne Robinson’s soon-to-be four novels has captured my imagination from the beginning, with Gilead (2004), followed by Home (2008), and Lila (2014). I can’t wait for the release of Jack (2020), but in the meantime, […]

Essential

Reflections on Life-in-a-Pandemic: When to Hold ‘Em and When to Fold ‘Em

How Phobia Has Made Me Think About Fear

Thankful for this one from Joey Jekel. But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; […]

Its Radiant Affliction: #Blessed by Empire, Wounded by God

On the day when The weight deadens On your shoulders And you stumble, May the clay dance To balance you. (‘Beannacht,’ John O’Donohue) When my grandmother slanders someone, she always follows it with benevolence. “He’s dumb as a rock,” she’ll say, “bless his heart.” “She ain’t worth a plugged nickel, bless her heart.” I think […]

Gravity, Grace, Weight, Love

In one of her strange and gleaming essays in The Givenness of Things, Marilynne Robinson describes grace this way: ‘Grace’ is a word without synonyms, a concept without paraphrase. It might seem to have distinct meanings, aesthetic and theological, but these are aspects of one thing—an alleviation, whether of guilt, of self-interest, or of limitation. […]

Another Week Ends: Mental Health (x4), Wreck It Ralph 2, Curling Cats!, David Chang, Marilynne Robinson and Billy Graham

1. A lot of mental health features this week, and we’ll start with this one published by Vox, and written by Johann Hari, whose new book Lost Connections, delves into the problem of depression, and the limits of its modern prognoses, most of which are medical. Not at all wanting to dismiss the anti-depressant as a […]

On Anxiety Attacks and the Fiction of Scientific “Reality”

This one, from our archives, remains every bit as relevant (and comforting!) as when Ethan wrote it in 2013. A typical description of an anxiety attack or a panic attack goes something like this: a routine behavior suddenly and emphatically goes rogue. You are driving, you are eating an orange slice, taking a test, conversing […]

Fluorescent Lighting and Vampire Haberdashery: Some Thoughts on Scapegoating and Parables

For me, writing about grace is like undressing in a cold changing room, with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and flickering fluorescent lighting: self-flattery is an impossibility. Don’t worry, there is more nudity on the way. When you can no longer unsee your own low anthropology, writing about internal work feels exposing. Feelings aren’t always reality, though, and the […]

Reading Gilead and the Tyranny of Should

This one comes to us from our friend Connor Gwin. I have started reading Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead five times. I know, I know; I really should read it. Everyone says it is so profound and wonderful and moving. It won the Pulitzer for God’s sake. And I haven’t finished it yet. I bought the audiobook […]

Five Golden…Themes! What We Loved Writing about in 2015

As we blanket our house with nic-nacs and expensive toys, it’s the perfect time to look back at the things that matter—or the things that mattered—or the things that at least we thought mattered at the time—to us this year. Here are Five Golden Themes for 2015—repeated stories and obsessions that didn’t just creep into […]

Another Week Ends: Little Richard, Brand Luther, Star Wars, Marilynne Robinson’s Soul, and Identifying As…?

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast. 1) On the heels of “identity” being Dictionary.com’s word of 2015, Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill discusses a theme that we have spoken about quite a bit ourselves this year, namely, the increasingly fluid cultural understanding of identity politics. O’Neill takes on the phrase “I […]