Years ago, while studying for my US citizenship exam, I paused over the words “the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. Because I grew up in Europe during the time of popular uprisings against communist regimes, I was used to words such as freedom and justice and equality in revolutionary speech, so the pursuit of happiness sounded like it didn’t belong in a declaration of independence from tyranny and oppression.
The Declaration of Independence (1776) – Wikipedia
It wasn’t the first time I wondered how had those Founding Fathers been so enlightened to consider the mental health of their people at a time of war and disease and superstition. Today we have counselors and self-help and wellness support groups, but they didn’t, back in 1776, yet Jefferson thought it was important to put those fine words in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Continue reading →
Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum and the rewriting of history
Foucault’s Pendulum at the Musée des Arts et Métiers (Paris)
Foucault’s Pendulumby Umberto Eco is one of my favorite novels. I read it first in high school, in Romanian, and then spent countless hours discussing it with my desk-mate and fellow-bookworm Iuliana. I read the novel again in English during my MFA program at Goddard. I wish I knew more Italian so I could read the book in its native language. Continue reading →
Richard III of the House of York was the last English king to die in battle—on August 22, 1485, at Bosworth Field. Now that the archeologists at University of Leicester have found his twisted remains under a parking lot, there is much revisiting of his story. Continue reading →