Emily Alspector's picture

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Aside from the beautiful and charismatic style which makes the procession through The Diving Bell and the Butterfly absolutely enthralling, complete appreciation of this book requires an acknowledgement of the implausible efforts of its creator. It is rare that a book can be inspiring based not only on the content of the writing but also on the process of its creation. Jean-Dominique Bauby does not explicitly give details about his condition, nor about how he went about writing this book. This seems to be the main theme of the book: it is not why, but how. He does not want the reader to know much about his accident or the painstaking method of communication he has been forced to resort to, but

Anna G.'s picture

Book Commentary of Proust was a Neuroscientist

In a masterfully weaved tale, Jonah Lehrer discusses a variety of artistic masterpieces and the underlying neurobiology. Lehrer tells this story in hope that one day we will have what he dubs a 4th culture, where scientists and artists can talk and really understand and appreciate each other. In this short but sweet book, Lehrer discusses the artistic advances of eight different artists. Though they may have been viewed as eccentric or crazy in their own times, Lehrer discusses how their artistic insight pinpointed neurobiological facts that have later been uncovered.


akeefe's picture

Call Me Covered

Call Me Covered

Paul Grobstein's picture

Emergence: Biological, Literary, and ....

Evolution and Literature:
Notes on Change and Order

Rhapsodica's picture

Finding Voices and Representing the Voiceless

Sandra Cisneros seems to have a way of creeping up on me… of finding me over and over again. Her short stories popped up when I attended Bryn Mawr’s Writing for College program, and when I tutored students in English over the summer. The week before we looked at selections from A House on Mango Street in this class, I went to my education field placement and observed a seventh grade class who was reading the same book. She always finds her way into my life, and she always inspires me to keep writing when she does. For years, I have struggled to find my voice both as a writer, and as a woman in today’s society. I admire Cisneros because she writes about what she knows – her family, living in poverty, being a woman

Rhapsodica's picture

Dressing and Undressing Words

When we read Helene Cixous’ Laugh of the Medusa, I felt more inspired than I had in a very long time. Since then, I have been trying to figure out exactly what about her writing speaks to me so deeply. In a sense, I can see why I so strongly identify with the things she says; yet, at the same time, the more I manage to unravel, the more complex it all seems.

ekim's picture

Science--Another Type of Art?

Science is a body of facts. From fifth grade Science to senior year AP Biology, teachers teach students exactly this. Students see science as a procedure with distinct boundaries between what is right and wrong (1). Science experiments had to meet certain expectations and create the "right" results. Science was all about structure.

But what is "right" anyway?

Rhapsodica's picture

A Long Week 4 Response

When I came to class on Tuesday after reading Spivak's essay, I was feeling terribly daunted. I hadn't read any of the books she used to illustrate her ideas (though I was pretty familiar with the plot of Frankenstein), and found it very difficult to get through her writing and extract anything useful, if only because I didn't know what she was trying to say most of the time. Our discussion & small group work in class were helpful, but I still didn't take very strongly to Spivak's ideas. I suppose, as I've said before on this forum and in class, feminism is something that I feel involves a connection on a personal level as well as on an academic/activist level... and I felt virtually no connection with her essay at all.

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