Better Living

bltblogoBetter Living Through Beowulf: How great literature can change your life is the blog of Dr. Robin Bates, who asserts and proves over and over again in his fascinating essays, that literature, drama, and film can teach us how to live better. The connections he makes are often unexpected and thought-provoking. Even if I am not familiar with examples he cites, I always come away from reading with new questions and new ideas.

HBCSA_cover_04aDr. Bates has given me permission to use his blog as I try to make sense of the Connecticut school massacre.

I had thought of quoting from them, but it is better to read them in full, and experience the blog as he has written them.

Here they are, without further comment, in the sequence in which they were published.

I don’t know how to “reblog” them, so there are the titles.. Please click the links!



navez, massacre of the innocents

Francois Joseph Navez, “Massacre of the Innocents” (1824)

Lamentation and Weeping in Newtown

By Robin Bates | Published: December 15, 2012

The Sandy Hook killings recall the Biblical massacre of the innocents, referenced in “Moby Dick.”



Guido Reni, “Massacre of the Innocents”

Love Saith, “Be with Me Where I Am”

By Robin Bates | Published: December 16, 2012

A Christina Rossetti poem about the massacre of the innocents looks for solace for such tragedies in Christ’s love.



Songs of Innocence Destroyed

By Robin Bates | Published: December 17, 2012

Blake captures the tragic clash between childhood innocence and worldly corruption that we witnessed in Sandy Hook.


Charles Bronson, “Death Wish 2″

Why (Some) Americans Love Guns

By Robin Bates | Published: December 18, 2012

Gun control is difficult because certain Americans have almost a sexual relationship with guns.

Thank you, Dr. Bates



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