Romanticism and Islam

Borrowed ImaginationOne of the intriguing new developments in British Romantic studies centers on the religious sources of the poets, particularly the Arabic-Islamic sources that proved decisive influences on some of the most remarkable poetic works in the English language. Samar Attar’s fascinating new book, Borrowed Imagination: The British Romantic Poets and the Arabic-Islamic Sources (Lexington, 2014) builds on positive scholarly contributions by Nigel Leask, Gregory Wassil, and Emily Haddad. Continue reading

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Death, Bodies, and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Smoke-Gets-in-Your-EyesWhen I was an adjunct English professor I especially enjoyed an assigned reading on all the strange and, let’s be honest, disturbing things morticians do to a body after death. In the United States, the practices surrounding death, wakes, and funerals are strange to say the least. In short, making a person’s body fit for viewing days after decay has begun is no easy task. Blood’s gotta go. Eyelids need to stay shut. Makeup is required. Continue reading