Sunday sentence

In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.” “On maps, (the Bone Road) was marked by sailors’ skulls, wide-mouthed monsters, mermaids with ice-white hair and the deep black eyes of seals.” Siege and Storm (Book #2 in
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Honoring a torture architect

Of course, John Yoo has a right to speak in support of torture. Of course, students should be allowed to listen — or not — to his arguments and make up their own minds. But a university should not be honoring a torture architect with an endowed faculty chair. But that’s exactly what Boalt Law School
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Sunday sentence

  “Nothing that lived or breathed was truly objective — even in a vacuum, even if all that possessed the brain was a self-immolating desire for the truth.” Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation   Related articles Review: Annihilation, Jeff Vandermeer The Big Idea: Jeff VanderMeer Jeff VanderMeer’s ANNIHILATION: Addictive New Weird!
Category: Robin Kirk

July 11 bonfires

A great photo of the bonfires that appeared in the Belfast Telegraph, taken from Cave Hill.   Related articles Gerry Adams effigy hangs from loyalist bonfire in N. Ireland (PHOTOS) In Pictures: Twelfth of July bonfires across Northern Ireland
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Sunday sentence

“I think you ought to try to forget about your leg.” Jane Gardam, The Queen of the Tambourine Related articles Lauren Collins: At home with Jane Gardam. The Stories by Jane Gardam, review Jane Gardam on Her Books, Which Capture a Greater Britain The Queen of the Tambourine ‘The Stories of Jane Gardam’: 28 jewels
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Sunday sentence

The best sentence I read this week: …And in the middle of the circle of children, like the object of some arcane ritual, there hovered a bomb, its downward facing tip seemingly balanced on Adam’s outstretched finger. Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs   Related articles Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
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More than the world’s most popular game

In Northern Ireland, opposing pro-England and pro-Ireland flags have grimly marked territory for decades, showing who is welcomed and who might be refused service—or beaten. But this month, even the hardest of the island’s hard men are lifting their pints in pubs decked out with a “We Are the World” array of colors, from the
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The more things change…

… the more they change even more, I could add to the title of this post. When I’m in Northern Ireland writing or setting up my DukeEngage program, I’m often preoccupied with the past. This year, I’ve been thinking about the 1800s a lot. In 1865, my great great grandfather, John Francis Brady, left the
Category: Robin Kirk

Can we stop now?

It’s great that the president has announced an effort to review how the death penalty is applied in the United States. The botched execution in Oklahoma merits more than a state-level response. Across the country, the number of states that apply the death penalty is dwindling. Yes — read that again — we’re almost to the end of this
Category: Robin Kirk

The effortless perfection of porn

College-age people often make risky calls, as any teacher or parent can attest. It’s part of being young—experimenting with boundaries, with personas, with, well, everything. It’s also biological: In humans, the frontal lobes, where we gain the ability to recognize future consequences, only fully develop in the mid-twenties. As a Duke University teacher, I often
Category: Robin Kirk