Hans Urs von Balthasar and Love

Hans Urs von Balthasar
Image: Hans Urs von Balthasar

In my younger years as an undergraduate student I became fixated with a Swiss theologian named Hans Urs von Balthasar. His writings induced condemnation in me due to their sheer density and complexity, yet they had a beguiling and awe-inspiring effect on this rather naïve reader. His language was deeply embedded within a philosophical and theological framework that reeked of intellectual superiority, but somehow I grasped to his musings like a drowning man, and four years later I am now returning to him. But why? A large majority of the texts we have studied thus far in the MA have touched upon a strange concept known as love (as both beneficial and destructive). Gatsby loves the illusory Daisy, Linda Loman loves her husband Willy, and David Schearl has an all encompassing love for his mother. As I studied these new notions of love in their various contexts, I was struck again, but with a new perspective, by the poignancy of von Balthasers teachings. Love for von Balthasar is to give someone something you haven’t got. It entails a self-giving and self-emptying that von Balthasar compares to the inner-trinitarian event of God giving his only Son to the world. Crucially, von Balthasar does not view this as a single historical event; rather it has been occurring since time immemorial. The Father in divine recklessness is giving all that he is to the Son and thus becoming godlessness. It is only by becoming destitute can God truly become God. Von Balthasar explains the self-giving (or “super-Kenosis”) of God’s Being as follows: “The God (as Father) can so give away his divinity that God (as Son) does not merely receive it as something borrowed, but possesses it in the equality of essence, expresses such an unimaginable and unsurpassable “separation” of God from Godself that every other separation (made possible by it!), even the most dark and bitter, can only occur within this first separation” (Balthasar 302).

In my opinion, von Balthasar’s thesis on the nature of love finds its nearest comparison in Roth’s Call it Sleep and the relationship between David and his mother Genya. For von Balthasar the love shared between a mother and a child serves as the very foundation of religion. The mother smiles and in the child’s infinite freedom he/she responds by smiling back. Henceforth, a mutual connection rooted in love is established. Von Balthasar sees the analogy of the child in front of its mother as the original I-Thou experience. Furthermore, for von Balthasar childhood is a time when the child cannot distinguish between the love of a parent and the love of God. God is unknowingly being revealed through the smile of a mother and thus the way to God goes through and beyond the mother. It is in the “Prologue” section of Call It Sleep that we first see the deeply interconnected relationship between David and his mother. Fleeing their past in hope of a better future, the mother holds the young David close to her chest as they stand on-board the steamer deck. Roth illustrates the closeness and warmth that radiates between the mother and son throughout this opening scene. Moreover, Roth constructs the mother in such a way that she becomes a beacon of protection and comfort that will dramatically alter the way David experiences the world. This image of the mother as protector and comforter can be seen in the “Prologue” when David retreats to his mother’s chest when he is faced with the rage of his father (Roth 11 & 15). If we were going to read David’s relationship with his mother within a Balthasarian framework then the “Prologue” scene acts as a precursor to David’s gradual inclination towards religiosity – insofar as David is called to self-consciousness through his mother and he seeks in religion the same thing he found in his mother, protection and comfort. In Anzia Yezierska’s novel Bread Givers we again see love as a defining force. Here as in Call it Sleep the mother becomes the figure of self-giving, giving until she can’t give no more. This radiation of love that nourishes Sara stands in stark contrast to the harsh environment of the Lower East Side, a habitat that provides the anti-thesis of love. In one rather poignant scene, the mother travels hours on a freezing cold night so that she may give Sara a “feather bed” that will ensure her warmth in her new apartment (171). The mother in a complete act of kindness is giving her daughter something that she herself could use. Sara (overwhelmed by such an action) utters an interesting comment that shed’s light on the rarity of her mother’s selfless nature: “[h]ow much bigger was Mother’s goodness than my burning ambition . . . feeling small under her feet with unworthiness” (171). Perhaps owing to a sense of guilt, Sara trivialises the self-emptying that the mother displays when she herself comments that “I’d give you away my life. But I can’t take time to go ‘way out to Elizabeth” (171). Sara fails to see the significance of the small everyday gestures which (paradoxically) constitute the enormity of the mother’s self-giving. I find it interesting (with the exception of Death of a Salesman) that it is within the novels which detail the plight of immigrants that we encounter most strikingly the Balthasarian idea of love as a self-giving and self-emptying enterprise. In this ever-growing secular society we have become oblivious to the treasures that are buried deep within theology. Sadly, if this continues we will loose forever a deeply profound and intriguing subject, that above all else points to the intricacy and beauty of human love.

Works Cited

Balthasar, Urs Von, Hans. Theo-Drama: Theological Dramatic Theory, volume III: Dramatis Personae: Persons in Christ. Trans. Graham Harrison. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992. Print.

Roth, Henry. Call it Sleep. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. Print.

Yezierska, Anzia. Bread Givers. New York: Persea Books, 2003. Print

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Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Robert Frank

Image: Robert Frank

Momentum, isn’t that what it’s all about? The ability to continue surveying the changing horizon, the utter need to seek, to find and to explore. The great American adventurer Huckleberry Finn knew the intrinsic value of movement: “I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest”. Finn could not remain with Aunt Sally, the life she represented and embodied was one of inertia. Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy of America, would also offer a neat summation of the American love affair with movement, he states: “men never stay still: a thousand random circumstances continually make them move from place to place”. For Nick Carraway, the “orgiastic future” that acted as Gatsby’s doctrine, is indelibly tied up with notions of momentum: “tomorrow we will run faster . . . so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (191). Crucially, Nick sees the powerful ideological influence that the theme of momentum exerts in a uniquely American context, namely its connection with the American dream. After witnessing the demise of Gatsby, Nick views momentum as a counterproductive enterprise; we may strive for a brighter tomorrow, but our efforts may be in vain. In other words, we are dammed. Fitzgerald, is in my opinion, offering an observation rather than a critique at the end of the novel. Maybe we are all dammed, but surely it is the journey rather than the destination that defines us, enlightens us? Bob Dylan, in his 2001 song “Mississippi,” sings: “I been in trouble ever since I put my suitcase down,” Dylan knows all too well that movement is what ultimately sustains us – the enemy of creativity is being stagnant.

During the past couple of months I have had my own journey, and dare I say, at times, felt tempted to lay my own suitcase down. In my very first blog I quoted a line from Yeats’s poem “The Circus Animals Desertion”: “I sought a theme and sought for it in vain”. At the time I was having difficulty conjuring up a theme that could sustain my interest and patience. Ideas simply vacated at the same time they entered. However, when themes or ideas did come along and lingered, I must say that I enjoyed the ensuing grapple. The insight that I have gained from this blogging process has been immense; I’ve come to learn that a little inspiration can go along way and that the journey requires time and patience. The taught part of the MA is coming to an end and I must now turn my attention to my thesis and its subject matter, the American poet Allen Ginsberg.

I will continue to travel the yellow brick road, sore feet and all. Each footstep a map to send back home.

PS, look what I found along the way:

For Ginsberg – A Lover’s Discourse

Uncle Sam, Hippy loving Whitmanian Father,
Crazy Wisdom Buddhist, Distinguished Professor,
Old man and Voice.

Allen, foolish to come to you so late in the night
when you have kissed all the boys and said adieu.
Slowly making your way from room to room, extinguishing
the lights and casting lovelorn prayers into the darkness –
a body emanating into language.

Allen, make yourself known to me,
open the door of your quaint cottage and love
my naked soul with the warmth of an older body.
Shroud innocence with sagging flesh
and quench desire on the tips
of lips and prophetic tongues.

Alone at last in each other’s embrace,
take my hand and guide me though the night.

Works Cited

Finneran, J. Richard, ed. The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan Press, 1993. Print.

Dylan, Bob. “Mississippi.” Love and Theft. Columbia, 2001. CD.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. London: Penguin Books Ltd, 1994. Print.

Journey Towards the Hearth

A Walk to Paradise Garden

Image: W.Eugene Smith – “A Walk to Paradise Garden”

During my recent reading of Henry Roth’s Call it Sleep, as I became transfixed by David Schearl and his journey towards enlightenment, I was struck by the similarities between David’s journey and that of a character in the American short story, “Firelight”, by Tobias Wolff. Both stories illustrate a child’s gradual psychological and physical detachment from their mother and the world in which they inhabit. Furthermore, this journey towards enlightenment bears symbolic comparisons to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”, insofar as both characters have to emerge from their respective realities to find the illuminating light that their prior existence lacked. This blog, whilst informed by Call it Sleep, will predominately focus on Wolff’s “Firelight”. “Firelight” tells the story of a boy who spends a Saturday with his mother viewing apartments that they can not afford. At their last viewing, a Mr. Avery welcomes them into his home.

Early on in Call it Sleep, David’s mother comments on the limited nature of her existence; “I know there is a church on a certain street to my left, the vegetable market is to the right, behind me are the railroad tracks. . . . within this pale is my America, and if I ventured further I should be lost.” (33). Not only does David live in the same geographical pale that the mother speaks off, but more importantly his mother represents a pale which – by his own choice it must be said – envelopes the young David. What happens though when one steps out beyond the pale and takes it upon him or herself the role of a pioneer, seeking, as Hart Crane put it, “new thresholds, new anatomies”? (45) A journey towards the hearth or the light is what guides both David and the child protagonist in “Firelight”.

In “Firelight” The child’s first liberating act from the shackles of his mother comes when he encounters a college campus, “I had never set foot on a campus before” (324). The college campus in that single instant becomes a symbol of otherness, of opportunity and enlightenment. This is what Plato would describe as a ‘clearer vision’ (242) and results in the child addressing his mother as “woman”. He also begins to feel the weight that his mother exerts upon him: “her hand on my shoulder. I began to feel the weight of that hand” (325). He is slowly beginning to see the reality that he shared with his mother was nothing but “shadows and images” compared to the reality he now finds himself in. The roaring fire in the Avery’s house symbolises everything that the child wants and needs. He is mesmerised and startled by the beauty that the fire brings to the room: “the first thing I saw was the fire. I was aware of other things, the furniture the church-like expanse of the room, but my eyes went straight to the flames” (327). Like the human beings in the “Allegory of the Cave” who grow accustomed to the upper world the child also grows attached to the reality he now finds himself in. This can be seen in his resistance to leave the security and warmth of the house, to the cold uncaring world that lies beyond the parameters of Mr. Avery’s home. The unity and warmth that the son feels in the Avery’s home could be symbolic of a transgression back to the womb. The home, like the womb offers the child protection and warmth that can never be replicated in the outside world. It helps the young son to escape the squalor and dampness of the boarding-houses – be it for a very short time. The fire becomes much more than heat, it becomes symbolic of an outsider being welcomed into the family unit which results in him questioning his prior existence with his mother. He even feels that when “Sister” takes a brownie, this gives him permission to take one. The home cooked brownie’s that Mrs. Avery bakes add to the image that this is your quintessential family that eat together and stay together. This stands in stark contrast to the son’s mother, who by having no fixed abode has to offer the son pizza from “a pizza place” (331). Thus, the fast-food pizza in this story symbolises the polarities between his life and the Avery’s idyllic one. It presents to the reader a misaligned family, contradictory to the all-American family that the Avery’s brownies come to embody.

When he finally leaves he is again made aware of the coldness and isolation of the pale that he and his mother inhabit, he remarks, “I’m a little cold”. Just as David returns to his tenement flat, the son in “Firelight” must return to his. The hauntingly fragile image of Avery’s fire still occupies his brain: “to really believe in it will somehow make it vanish, like a voice waking me from sleep” (332). Frightful stuff indeed.

Works Cited

Wolff, Tobias. “Firelight.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 6th ed. Ed. Nina Bayman. New York: Norton & Company, 2003. 325-32. Print.

Roth, Henry. Call it Sleep. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. Print Plato, The Republic, London: Penguin Books Ltd, 2003. Print.

Crane, Hart. Complete Poems. Ed. Brom Weber. Newcastle: Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 1987. Print.

Adam and Eve: The Beautiful and The Damned

The Fall and Expulsion...

Image: Michelangelo, The ceiling of The Sistine Chapel – The Downfall of Adam and Eve and their Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and providence their guide:
They hand in hand with wand’ring steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.”
Paradise Lost Book XII

“And they fell. And their habitat
Left them. And they fell.”
Hart Crane

Let us begin at the very beginning. Genesis. But how should I begin? If Gatsby is correct that one can repeat the past, then surely one can write about it. Bob Dylan would counter this line of thought and argue that “You can always come back but you can’t come back all the way.” What does Dylan mean by this? Perhaps Genesis is just too far out of my radar? Or does Dylan mean that when one crosses a threshold there is no going back, we have become marked, differentiated from not only others around us but also our prior selves. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Genesis.

Genesis is a curious, yet beguiling, piece of literature that both nourishes and sustains the imagination of its reader. For centuries, artists have travelled back to its passages, immersing themselves in the primordial themes that still constitute our being; human mastery, companionship, greed and death. Fleshy themes for even the most inept artist. Patrick Kavanagh, summed it up better than most: “to eat the knowledge that grew in clay and death the germ within it” (14). Death had never been so beautifully put.

The two quotes that serve as an epigraph for this blog juxtapose the utter elation that Adam and Eve felt when confronted with the wonder of an unspoilt paradise: “The world was all before them, where to choose” and the tragedy that bequeaths them, “And they fell.”

Nick Carraway, standing at the edge of Gatsby’s paradise, neatly evokes similar connotations of both opportunity and failure when he imagines the Eden that greeted the Dutch sailors; “a fresh, green breast of the new world” and then contrasts this with Gatsby’s demise (187). Interestingly, Gatsby’s fall – in part – can be traced to his quest for Daisy, who comes to represent the tree of knowledge, unattainable, yet within touching distance. This thirst for something so exotic and forbidden is what ultimately destroys Gatsby.

But alas, let me pull back the curtain on my own little creation, humble and uncertain. One must not always live in the shadows of others.

Looking Down Yonder

I

Did we betray life by living it?
Choking on autumns dead leaves, did we arrive at some irreversible Eden?
Indebted to dust and sin and all things eternal.
Blindly, we discovered that our naked bodies of lust were bare
and fragile and but shadows of the earthly clay that formed us.
Oh Knowledge oh knowledge, why did you beckon dust,
to taste thy lonesome wrath?
Was the East not us and all temptations within our vision?
To let us fall for something good but foul of nature and garden.
Sin grows in bones and nations are born in one flesh.
Knowledge was bittersweet, yet the mouth waters for life.

II

In time I saw Adam and witnessed what had become
of wretched beauty and crumbling knowledge.
Discarded on a lonely lit sidewalk he now stands
smelling of piss and imperfection.
Adam is this fair? Is time not eroding your good looks
like the Pishon river eroding a decrepit piece of land?
Do dust and clay stay partially combined forever?
I doubt not.
Life is not kind to you Adam.
Closing their curtains at night
they leave you there to fend for yourself.
In the dark soil of nowhere and in the cries of love
they find you and retreat,
to a safe haven that you were once part of.

Works Cited

Crane, Hart. Complete Poems. Ed. Brom Weber. Newcastle: Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 1987. Print.

Dylan. Bob. “Mississippi.” Love and Theft. Columbia, 2001. CD. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. London: Penguin Books Ltd, 1994. Print.

Kavanagh Patrick. Selected Poems. London: Penguin Books Ltd, 1996. Print.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. London: Penguin Books Ltd, 2000. Print.

 

Trapee-Z: Masked and Anonymous

Diane Arbus, Two Boys Smoking in Central Park

Image: Diane Arbus, “Two Boys Smoking in Central Park”

One has to live a life always at an angle. . . to be oneself and at the same time another. . . nothing, absolutely nothing, as it seems

John Banville, The Untouchable.

He was born black, raised black and will die black – but he is beyond doubt a white man. The great merger of American identities, Walt Whitman, once articulated that “I am large, I contain multitudes,” meaning that for every “I” there is another equally intriguing “I.” Whitman knew where it was at, in him the nation spoke and reverberated. Nick Carraway, who clearly stood outside Whitman’s vistas, got it drastically wrong when he bought into the notion that “life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.” If, like Nick, we perceive reality and ourselves through a single lens are we not reducing the plethora of forces that constitute “I”? The equally romantic and demonic French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, advances this line of thought by highlighting the uncanny nature of the “I” when he declares “I is another.”

Trapee-Z alluded to the constant kineticism of his identity when he proclaimed that “I change during the course of a day. I wake up and I’m one person, and when I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else” (Colt). Perhaps this is the reason that not one person reading this has ever heard of Trapee-Z. Trapee-Z was born in 1941 in a mining town in North-West America. In his own words, it was a place defined by its banality and sheer cold. Trapee-Z had to escape, for he knew his audience was of nowhere and everywhere. One night as the carnival was passing through his home town he seized the opportunity and escaped. He became a “clean-up boy,” or something to that effect: “I was mainliner on the Ferris wheel” (Colt 4). His life would soon become a carnival of sorts, filled with lights, screaming and illusion.

In 1961 at the age of twenty he released his self-titled LP – a modest offering by all accounts, which contained just two original songs. But it pointed towards something brighter, something new and all illuminating that would soon permeate the cultural consciousness of American society. But again the question arises, who is Trapee-Z? In quick succession (1963-66) he released a handful of albums, containing what he would describe, as “contemporary songs” (Colt 3) that would come to define a generation. Trapee-Z at this stage started to outgrow his own creation; he was evolving, re-defining the parameters of popular music. Many critics at the time regarded this discarding of a former identity as the ultimate betrayal. In their eyes Trapee-Z not only betrayed his fans, but more importantly himself – Judas do I hear you say? That great moralist, Plato, must have the seen chaos that would ensue from Trapee-Z’s evolution, when he declared: “when the mode of music changes, the walls of the city shake” (Scott 35). Trapee-Z persevered through the booing, the slow clapping and the walk outs. Very soon after, he would suffer a motorcycle accident that enabled him to retreat from the public and his persona, to a more relaxed way of life, with wife and family. I often ponder on this accident, a curious intricate puzzle that I am in awe off, simply because I know it resists solving. He would re-enter some two years later, having constructed (or just acknowledged) a different facet of Whitman’s “I”. He looked strange and sounded even stranger.

During the course of his fifty year career he has constantly resisted interpretation and definition: “definition destroys” he argued (Colt 12). But the time has come to let the cat out of the hat – Trapee-Z is nothing but a figment of my imagination, a creation born out of illusion. However, in my mind he signifies something or someone, a man who plays with notions of appearances and identity to show that they are paradoxically both revealing and deceiving. He is a man of multitudes that is constantly using masquerade as a means to deflect from what really lies beneath the persona. I call such a man Trapee-Z, others call him Robert, Zimmy, or simply, Bob Dylan. Dylan alluded to this idea of persona in a 1975 interview for People magazine: “I didn’t consciously pursue the Bob Dylan myth. It was given to me[…]”. Furthermore, in his 1964 Halloween concert in Philharmonic Hall he refers to this idea of performing “Bob Dylan” when he shouts out from the stage that “I have my Bob Dylan mask on, I’m masquerading”. In 1964, Dylan again resists labelling when confronted with a question about seeing himself as a poet. He responds in typical Dylan fashion: “I don’t call myself a poet, because I don’t like the word. I’m a trapeze artist”. Trapeze – someone who masters the delicate art of balance.

In his latest album, Tempest, there is a rather telling line: “I wear dark glasses to cover my eyes / There are secrets in em that I can’t disguise.” Perhaps aware that his days of self-invention and illusion are over, he must now protect this final creation before he bids a final au-revoir to the waiting crowd.

Bob knows the deal though, he sang about it many years ago: “That he not busy being born is busy dying.”

Works Cited

Banville, John. The Untouchable. London: Picador, 2009. Print.

Cott, Jonathan, ed. Dylan on Dylan: The Essential Interviews. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2006. Print.

Dylan, Bob. “Long and Wasted Years.” Tempest. Columbia, 2012. CD.

Dylan, Bob. The Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964, Concert at Philharmonic Hall. Columbia, 2004. CD.

Dylan. Bob. Bringing It All Back Home. Columbia, 1965. CD.

Scott, Saul. Freedom is, Freedom Ain’t: Jazz and the Making of the Sixties. London: Harvard UP, 2003. Print.

Whitman, Walt. “Song of Myself.” The Works of Walt Whitman. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 1995. Print.

A Room with a View

Image: Robert Frank

To blog, or not to blog, that is the question? Richard Ford once described the American short story as a “dangerous little instrument”, a world where “entire lives can change (turn on a dime) on account of one little manufactured moment of clear-sightedness” (Ford 7). I have often wondered what Ford meant by the term ‘clear-sightedness’? Perhaps, Burrough’s exposition of the expression “naked lunch” can help us: “a naked lunch was that moment in which someone saw something as it really was” (Schumacher 179). For me, Ford and Burrough’s line of thought involves a distancing of sorts, a moment when the writer, free from his everyday thoughts can involuntary view the world through heightened senses. “Clear-sightedness” is when the habitual becomes revelatory, or in the words of the green fool: “Wherever life pours ordinary plenty” (Kavanagh 110).

For some weeks now, I have lusted after themes, images and women, to finally kick-start my foray into the blogging-sphere. A line from Yeats’s “The Circus Animals’ Desertion”, once dead, now rang with such clarity: “I sought a theme and sought for it in vain, / I sought it daily for six weeks or so”. These two lines perfectly encapsulated my frustration, my inarticulation at not being able to conjure my dormant imagination. To add insult to injury, Leonard Cohen’s ‘Anthem’ played over the radio: “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”. It was beyond doubt, I was blind!

And so it ensued. Having come from a far off place, called Cavan, to study in UCC, I found myself transported from country to city life. Naively, I have always attached the label “immigrant” to people that remain faceless, somewhat distant figures obscured by context and history. Reading Bread Givers, it finally hit me, the spark ignited. I was an immigrant too, alone in the gatherings of people and their conversation. I had found my “Clear-sightedness”, and consequently, my first blog.

I have always been a firm believer that a book finds its reader. In the film Shadowlands, Anthony Hopkins (playing C.S. Lewis) perfectly encapsulates the idea of a novel (or any piece of writing) as a blueprint for the lives we live, he says: “We read to know we are not alone” – We all diverge from the yellow brick road, and occasionally want to travel the road less travelled, it’s literature which unites all of our decisions or indecisions and never asks why. Recently, I have felt great kinship with the character David Schearl from Henry Roth’s Call It Sleep, and Sara Smolinsky, from Anzia Yezierska’s novel Bread Givers. Both characters give flesh to Thoreau’s treatise that “Every child begins the world again” (Thoreau 70). David and Sara are Jewish immigrants in America at the turn of the twentieth century. Their outsider status is perfectly summarised by David, “this world had been created without thought of him” (Roth 17). Yet, the immigrant, if they are to escape the shackles of their social class, must have hope; “hope is the only reality here on earth. It’s hope that makes people build cities and span bridges” (Yezierska 126). In order to become part of the cultural tapestry of American society, they must earn it, through hard work and sacrifice. Reading both books, I became aware of the simple things which constitute independence, yet at the same time, the fortitude one must have if they are to attain their desired goal. I entitled my blog “A Room with a View”, because, like Sara, I wanted a place I could call home. Four walls that screamed to the world, independence. However, getting a room, regardless of the view, was proving to be difficult. Like David Schearl I was new to the city, and it was constantly evolving around me. Streets became both familiar and unfamiliar at the same moment; “The school – The school is over there now!” declares a bewildered David (Roth 107).

In the end, I got my room with a view. Before I opened the faded wooden door for the first time, I thought of Sara Smolinsky, the immigrant who persevered and prospered; “This door was life. It was air” (Yezierska 159).

And so my journey begins.

That great Jewish-American troubadour, Bob Dylan, knew a thing or two.

“Don’t get up gentleman, I’m only passing through”.

Works Cited

Cohen, Leonard. “Anthem.” The Future. Columbia, 1992. CD.

Dylan, Bob. “Things Have Changed.” The Essential Bob Dylan. Columbia, 2000. CD.

Ford, Richard, ed. The New Granta Book of the American Short Story. London: Granta Books, 2007. Print.

Kavanagh, Patrick. Patrick Kavanagh Collected Poems. Ed. Antoinette Quinn. United Kingdom: Penguin, 2005. Print.

Kazin, Alfred. Introduction. Call it Sleep. By Henry Roth. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print

Meyer, Michael. Introduction. Walden and Civil Disobedence. By Henry David Thoreau. New York: Penguin, 1983. Print.

Schumacher, Michael. Dharma Lion: A Biography of Allen Ginsberg. New York: St Martin’s Press, 1992. Print.

Shadowlands. Dir. Richard Attenborough. Pref. Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, and Edward Hardwicke. Paramount Pictures, 1993. DVD.

Finneran, J. Richard, ed. The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan Press, 1993. Print.

Yezierska, Anzia. Bread Givers. 3rd ed. New York: Persea Books, 2003. Print.