(A)broadside

Idly poking a crouton cube westward across a salad plate, the Candidate tells us the importance of attending college in an international setting.  I stare at the flaccid Earl Grey teabag, drying on my saucer.  What about all of my domestic commitments: the relationships, the contracts?  What about my finances (weekend Expedia trawls yield several-thousand dollar answers to such lingering European travel questions)?  The impossibility of it all is overwhelming;…

Literary Bicentenary: Charles Dickens

English Matters began with a 300th-birthday tribute to Samuel Johnson in 2009, and makes its belated-phoenix reappearance today to mark the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens on Tuesday 7 February. Like Dr. Johnson, Charles Dickens is a huge figure in English studies, so large and various that it’s practically impossible to sum him up. You know an author is great when other great writers spend so much time dissing him.…