The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts tagged “literature

The Smaller Picture

Posted on April 24, 2013

Let me break it down for you: There was a bird on the glass. It reminded me of an ancient Hungarian fairy tale, “The Glass Man and the Golden Bird,” that describes a king who must travel to the Kingdom of Magic to find The One. Along the way he encounters great foes, like a witch who has turned herself into a monstrous black spider with two swords for two front legs. A little golden bird accompanies him on his journey; it serves as companion and songbird in times of peace and protector during times of trial and despair. Eventually the king finds The One when the golden bird sings a song for a lily, transforming the lily into a beautiful maiden. Sometimes even…

The New Beat

Posted on March 23, 2013

John Clellon Holmes once said, “Everywhere the Beat Generation seems occupied with the feverish production of answers—some of them frightening, some of them foolish—to a single question: how are we to live?” Holmes was a kind of wrangler of his wayward band of brothers – Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Cassady. He collected and compiled all holy data equally induced by drugs and existential despair to document and thus immortalize the claudicant enlightenments of his lost thinkers. And that’s what it was all about; the beatniks occupied themselves solely with the single most relevant question of any person’s life: how are we to live? In this way, we are all beatniks. No one’s experience or story counts for more than any other, just as no one…

Books and the Stig

Posted on January 20, 2012

My bedroom is comically imbalanced – the desk is cocooned by a lego-esque border of old and new books. Books I love, books I’ve read, and books that have yet to endure the gratuitous cover-bending that comes with each thorough and addicting read. This provides for a not-so-subtle contrast comparative to the rest of the room, which is stark white and empty. My Stig flash drive is the king of the books.

Book Rant

Posted on September 12, 2011

How can a place call itself a bookstore when it doesn’t carry any of the publications of Bill Bryson, possibly the greatest writer of all time? How can people work in a bookstore, thereby assuming unto themselves the label of “book person” because they accepted the job after all, and not know who Bill Bryson is?? And then they couldn’t point me in the right direction for Camus, Solzhenitsyn, or Neruda. God, that sounded pretentious.

“Politics and the English Language”: How Orwell Restored My Faith in My Potential

Posted on March 29, 2011

Reading George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” is like having a bucket of ice-cold water thrown in your face. Cleansed of old vitriolic habits, I feel I can now begin my academic career anew, just as a surprise showering of water rids the body of collected dirt and grime. I’ve always struggled with writing even though I love it so much. I know what kind of writer I want to be but I’ve no idea how to get there. Thoughts and ideas fly around my head like a swarm of gnats on a muggy afternoon. I never have any idea where to begin, where to end, and how to link the beginning and the end together. Often I’ll come up with…