Huckleberry Finn: The Book About What Books Don’t Say

As a narrator, Huck Finn is a schoolmarm’s worst nightmare. Not only does he slaughter proper English, but he questions pieties (in hilarious ways) and generally puts all conventional wisdom to the test of reasonable self-interest. His insights and honesty, however, make him the invaluable commentator on the dfference between precepts taken from books (even the Bible) and the evidence of his own experience. Yet even young readers can see that his journey down the Mississippi with Jim repeats the great literary and Biblical themes, staring with “Moses and the Bulrushes.”

Glenn Arbery

Senior Editor, People Newspapers and Adjunct Professor at University of Dallas

After finishing his degree at the University of Dallas, Glenn Arbery taught literature at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and Thomas More College in New Hampshire. In 1997, he returned to Dallas to become director of the Teachers Academy at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. For seven years there, he taught graduate courses and directed the Summer Institute for Teachers, an intensive graduate course in classic texts of the Western tradition. His Book "Why Literature Matters" appeared in 2001 from ISI Books. For the Dallas Institute Press, he edited "The Tragic Abyss," the third volume in the series on literary genre under the general editorship of Louise Cowan. In 2003, he became a senior editor with People Newspapers and a contributing editor of D Magazine, where he has won state, regional, and national awards for his writing. He is currently editing a collection of essays by the Southern critics John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and Donald Davidson.

Exodus as the Underlying Theme of the American Story

When Martin Luther King, just before his death, said “He’s allowed me to go up to the mount. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land,” he was invoking the Exodus story for black Americans. But the story already informs the whole Western tradition. Dante explains the nature of the Divine Comedy by citing Psalm 114, which begins, “When Israel came out of Egypt.” The Puritans interpreted their own endeavors in terms of Exodus, starting with John Winthrop on the Arbella, and the greatest writers of American literature, including Melville, Twain, and Faulkner, consistently use the theme. 

Glenn Arbery

Senior Editor, People Newspapers and Adjunct Professor at University of Dallas

After finishing his degree at the University of Dallas, Glenn Arbery taught literature at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and Thomas More College in New Hampshire. In 1997, he returned to Dallas to become director of the Teachers Academy at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. For seven years there, he taught graduate courses and directed the Summer Institute for Teachers, an intensive graduate course in classic texts of the Western tradition. His Book "Why Literature Matters" appeared in 2001 from ISI Books. For the Dallas Institute Press, he edited "The Tragic Abyss," the third volume in the series on literary genre under the general editorship of Louise Cowan. In 2003, he became a senior editor with People Newspapers and a contributing editor of D Magazine, where he has won state, regional, and national awards for his writing. He is currently editing a collection of essays by the Southern critics John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and Donald Davidson.

Odysseus and the Art of Disappearing

In contrast to Achilles, Odysseus finds his integrity in misrepresenting who he is until the right moment. A master of disguises and plausible stories, he makes his way home in the Odyssey by subduing his desire for fame and recognition – except on the disastrous day when he brags to Cyclops and gives his name. This second lecture on Homer will consider the other side of appearance. How can a wise man use appearance to his advantage and still serve the truth? How much does pride of recognition get in the way of real and accomplishment.

Glenn Arbery

Senior Editor, People Newspapers and Adjunct Professor at University of Dallas

After finishing his degree at the University of Dallas, Glenn Arbery taught literature at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and Thomas More College in New Hampshire. In 1997, he returned to Dallas to become director of the Teachers Academy at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. For seven years there, he taught graduate courses and directed the Summer Institute for Teachers, an intensive graduate course in classic texts of the Western tradition. His Book "Why Literature Matters" appeared in 2001 from ISI Books. For the Dallas Institute Press, he edited "The Tragic Abyss," the third volume in the series on literary genre under the general editorship of Louise Cowan. In 2003, he became a senior editor with People Newspapers and a contributing editor of D Magazine, where he has won state, regional, and national awards for his writing. He is currently editing a collection of essays by the Southern critics John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and Donald Davidson.

Divine Appearance: Achilles in the Illiad

Many students consider Hector the real hero of the Iliad, but they fail to see the tremendous integrity underlying Achilles’ demand for honor, which is really an instance on justice. It is necessary that what he is – the most divine of mortals – be recognized as such, which means that his greatness must show itself as fully as possible under the limited conditions of mortal life. Zeus fashions the plan: Achilles has to disappear from much of the poem in order to be seen in his full glory. His emergence at the end embodies what truth, aletheia, means for the early Greeks: coming out of hiddenness into shining presence and appearance.

Glenn Arbery

Senior Editor, People Newspapers and Adjunct Professor at University of Dallas

After finishing his degree at the University of Dallas, Glenn Arbery taught literature at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and Thomas More College in New Hampshire. In 1997, he returned to Dallas to become director of the Teachers Academy at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. For seven years there, he taught graduate courses and directed the Summer Institute for Teachers, an intensive graduate course in classic texts of the Western tradition. His Book "Why Literature Matters" appeared in 2001 from ISI Books. For the Dallas Institute Press, he edited "The Tragic Abyss," the third volume in the series on literary genre under the general editorship of Louise Cowan. In 2003, he became a senior editor with People Newspapers and a contributing editor of D Magazine, where he has won state, regional, and national awards for his writing. He is currently editing a collection of essays by the Southern critics John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and Donald Davidson.