Author Archives: dgriffith

About dgriffith

Dave Griffith is Assistant Professor of English at Sweet Briar College. He is the author of A Good War is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America.

Final Essay: Revisiting Aslan

Your final for this class consists of a revision of your first writing assignment in which you were asked to choose the most important theme from Aslan’s Beyond Fundamentalism and discuss why it was the most important. For this revision … Continue reading

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Tim O’Brien: “How to Tell a True War Story”

“How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien is a chapter from his book The Things They Carried.  The book is usually described as autobiographical fiction, and so there are moments when it is difficult to discern what genre … Continue reading

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Penultimate Assignment

You have two remaining assignments this semester.  The first, due by December 2nd, is what I will call “The Museum of 9.11 Culture and Influence.” Instructions: You have been asked by the head curator of the museum, Corrine Adams, to … Continue reading

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The Schmidle Muddle

Here are three short commentaries on the controversy surrounding Nicholas Schmidle’s New Yorker article “Getting Bin Laden.” http://www.registan.net/index.php/2011/08/04/the-schmidle-muddle-of-the-osama-bin-laden-take-down/ http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/08/03/schmidle-seals-journalsi/ http://www.wwd.com/media-news/fashion-memopad/the-new-yorker-under-the-microscope-5041862 Read these articles and then write your own editor’s note that provides the reader with what you think is the … Continue reading

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Getting at the Truth in “Getting Bin Laden”

The New Yorker article “Getting Bin Laden” is, no doubt, an exciting piece of writing, but is it factual? Journalist Paul Fahri, writing in the Washington Post, criticized the credibility of Schmidle’s account: Schmidle says he wasn’t able to interview … Continue reading

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Fear in Kandahar » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Here’s an article by journalist/activist Masha Hamilton that illustrates and comments upon the Afghan front in the War on Terror: Fear in Kandahar » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share … Continue reading

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Twlight of the Superheroes

Given that we have been having good luck using Google docs for the other course readings (Metz and Sageman), I have uploaded the reading, “The Twilight of the Superheroes,” for Monday into the class Google docs folder. Please download the … Continue reading

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David Foster Wallace on the American ethos

Recall that ethos has a few different meanings.  It’s most often used to describe the spirit or character of a people, place, or institution, which is how David Foster Wallace uses it in the video clip.  But in the study … Continue reading

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The View From Mrs. Thompson’s

Here is a link to a pdf of David Foster Wallace’s essay, “The View From Mrs.Thompson’s,” scanned directly from the October 2001 issue of Rolling Stone magazine in which it appeared. Did you catch that?  He wrote this essay within … Continue reading

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Advice to Writers

The novelist Henry James had two pieces of advice for beginning writers: “Write from experience” & “Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost.” Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit … Continue reading

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