Pontius Pilate portrayed by…David Bowie?! and Other Thoughts on Pilate

Yes, it's true. And here's the best part of the surprise: he's terrific! Though he's only on-screen for a few minutes towards the end of The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), his portrayal of Pontius Pilate is resoundingly effective. He doesn't play Pilate as the epitome of evil that some depictions paint him as, but … Continue reading Pontius Pilate portrayed by…David Bowie?! and Other Thoughts on Pilate

On Wikipedia

As a rule, teachers and professors tend to demonize Wikipedia. I guess this is somewhat justified since we don't want our kids flocking to the site to copy and paste information for a research project (side-note: we can always tell when students copy and paste; we have our ways of revealing this information). But in … Continue reading On Wikipedia

Romanticism: The Movement That Gave Us Spontaneous Combustion

Whenever I talk about Romanticism to people who aren't as geekish as me when it comes to literature, they tend to think I'm referring to some movement started by Danielle Steele. "Why would you take a course called 'Romantic Literature and Culture'--I thought you hated romance novels!" It's a sad state of affairs when a … Continue reading Romanticism: The Movement That Gave Us Spontaneous Combustion

On the Monomyth

Joseph Campbell's work, specifically his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces,¬†argues that there is a single, overarching narrative pattern which he calls the "monomyth" (or "hero's journey") that connects stories as varied as those of Perseus and Jesus Christ. While I think the pattern most certainly applies to many mythic narratives, it does not … Continue reading On the Monomyth