The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThis poem first appeared in a newspaper in Troy, New York, USA, on December 23, 1823, as A Visit From St. Nicholas. No one claimed authorship until 13 years later. Clement Clarke Moore, a professor and poet, said that he wrote the piece for his children. Unbeknownst to him, his housekeeper had sent it to the newspaper to be published. However, the family of Henry Livingston Jr. contended that their father had been reciting “A Visit from St. Nicholas” for 15 years prior to publication. Regardless of the true author, the poem is now a Christmas classic.
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Walker felt the pressures of heightened expectations after the success of The Color Purple and the novel reveals her frame of mind: overambitious and, perhaps, a bit arrogant. Fancying herself the Wizard of the present literary cannon, she ventures into the left field of Oz and left the literary community scratching their heads, standing on the planes of Kansas. The adaption of Jungian psychology in the lives of characters conveys a level of superficiality in light of the lives of the protagonists, who are all rich, good looking and complaining about white collar problems. Rigid adherence to the metaphor requires constant allusions to the film and Jung philosophy, which sometimes manifest as contradictory forces. The numbers of allusions within the text are so abundant that extended discussion of each individual occurrence would require a great deal more time and the death of more trees — thus, only the obvious will be discussed here.
Temple of My Familiar, The. To experience the full flavor of Alice Walker's fourth novel, The Temple of My Familiar, a reader must allow him- or herself to expand and collapse within an intensely provocative expression of a womanist world view. In fact, calling The Temple of My Familiar a novel is a misnomer. The book, published in , is anything but a novel. It is a collection of loosely related stories, a political platform, a sermon, and a stream of dreams and memories bound together by definitions of and explanations for the present state of human affairs.
The origin stories of tribal people long ago were accounts of hardship, optimism, love and finally, of endurance. These stories are still told today in various contexts and to listen to the storyteller is to participate in the re-creation of an entire people. It is to participate in the rhythm of ancient voices, complete with nuances and laughs of delight. Or cries of grief. It is to participate in songs, to listen to stories animals have to tell and to believe worlds other than this one exist.
This is a story of how I got accustomed to life without a home. Without the anchor of a biological echo. Without my compass.
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