Books and literature

So much depends on style, that factor of which we are growing more and more suspicious, that although the tendency of criticism is to explain a writer either in terms of his sexual experience or his economic background, I still believe technique remains the soundest base for a diagnosis, that it should be possible to […]

{ 0 comments }

As the University of Toronto’s willingness to let me extend and finish my PhD became more and more strained and conditional I set aside a large number of projects and tasks to focus on getting the dissertation done and defended in 2022. Some of my books in progress relate closely to my PhD research. I […]

{ 0 comments }

Official versions are forthcoming on the University of Toronto’s TSpace thesis hosting platform and on paper from the Asquith Press at the Toronto Reference Library, but I see no reason not to make my PhD dissertation available as a free PDF to anyone who is interested: Persuasion Strategies: Canadian Campus Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaigns and […]

{ 2 comments }

“[Alicia] Garza [“a longtime community organizer in Oakland and a major figure within the Black Lives Matter movement” (p. 57)] celebrated that the progressive movement had grown more strident, more self-confident in its demands, more determined to hold leaders accountable. But she wondered if, in the bargain, the movement had acquired a narrowness that kept […]

{ 0 comments }

The first pile at Hanford generated 250 million watts—250 megawatts or MW—of thermal power and produced each year about a hundred kilograms of plutonium. A rule of thumb is that a megawatt of fission heat in a natural uranium reactor accompanies the production of about a gram of plutonium-239 per day. About six kilograms were […]

{ 0 comments }

Readers expect to be argued with, and persuaded by. They don’t want to be told, repeatedly, what they already know, and they’re rarely tolerant of being lectured at. Writing happens among; writing is an exchange. I’ll go further with this point, so bear with me. Readers aren’t just people out there who buy, borrow, or […]

{ 0 comments }

Most of what academics write is intended to persuade other academics of something. That’s true for essayists, too. James Baldwin, when asked if writing an essay was easier than writing a novel, replied, “An essay is essentially an argument. The writer’s point of view in an essay is always absolutely clear. The writer is trying […]

{ 0 comments }

Identifiable skills, practical techniques, working notes, instinct, gut feeling, hunches. Though they may sound like an unlikely troupe of players, when you write and revise you call on all of them. But no tool for working your way into a draft is more important than just reading it as carefully as your ears will let […]

{ 0 comments }

“One profession that is particularly close to my heart, a profession that can get away with nearly anything,” Wagenbreth told his colleagues, “and this group are our dear journalists.” Journalists with a good reputation, he said, had excellent access to officials with security clearances and business executives, and could even travel through the Iron Curtain […]

{ 4 comments }

What makes Rousseau and his self-described ‘history of the human heart,’ so astonishingly germane and eerily resonant is that, unlike his fellow eighteenth-century writers, he described the quintessential inner experience of modernity for most people: the uprooted outsider in the commercial metropolis, aspiring for a place in it, and struggling with complex feelings of envy, […]

{ 0 comments }