This will be included in a series of blogs tentatively titled “David in Carroll Land” based on 4 decades of teaching at Carroll. I’ll be pulling them together using Mike Nelson’s newly improved WordPress Plugin Print My Blog Pro.
Four books that I have read and reread over the years are George Orwell (Eric Blair)’s 1984 , Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There , and Walter Miller’s a Canticle for Leibowitz.
George Orwell fascinates me on a number of accounts—his mastery of language, his prescience, and his outlook about politics. While I was faculty president, I gave copies of his book to people as a reminder of the chilling threats and effects of totalitarianism and doublespeak on our campus.
Lewis Carroll, though more playful, also is masterful with language and with alerting us to the the dangers when illogic becomes the norm and when language is misused. I found Carroll’s decisions a few year’s ago (process and outcome) to eliminate the word “department” from our Carroll argot and the more recent changing of our name from “college” to “university” Orwellian and Humpty-Dumpty-like.
I’m tempted to finish writing a fictionalized history of Carroll paralleling the themes of The Canticle. We seem to both ignore and repeat history.
Still, the joy of teaching remains and the truth will set us free.
What books have you reread? Why? What recent books have you read are you likely to reread ten years from now?