Empathy in Isolation: Sharing Loneliness with Nick Carraway

In Act IV of Coriolanus, Shakespeare uses a seemingly inconsequential simile about a solitary dragon leaving its swamp. It is in this simile that Shakespeare coined the adverb “lonely.” Similarly, in Act III of Hamlet, Polonius tells Ophelia to sit down and read, so that her “loneliness” would appear natural. It is odd that loneliness—a feeling universally understood today—is a relatively new term, and it … Continue reading Empathy in Isolation: Sharing Loneliness with Nick Carraway

“The Riddle We Can Guess”: On Clarity and Ambiguity in Writing

“The riddle we can guess / We speedily despise.” —Emily Dickinson, #1222 I was lying in the backseat of the car on an early October day in 2014, waiting while my mom grabbed a few things from the grocery store. It was probably very hot, as Tennessee autumns tend to be, but all I can recall about that moment was the book, William Faulkner’s The Sound and … Continue reading “The Riddle We Can Guess”: On Clarity and Ambiguity in Writing