The Master and Margarita: The Devil is Woman Unless She Isn’t

After much effort I finally finished Mikail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita (Russian, 1967), which a student recommended to me years ago when she heard that I was interested in exploring how and why the “devil” becomes female in literature.  This, my seventh installment, presents what may seem at first a challenge to the rule that […]

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God’s Plot and Schizophrenia

Thomas Shepard’s autobiography in God’s Plot (American, 16th century, transcribed by Michael McGiffert) reveals his personal struggle with cognition in a world in which positive/negative, good/evil can not peaceably coexist. As an authority figure for Puritan doctrine Shepard purposefully constructs his autobiography to reflect the enlightened path of the ecclesiastically elite; it speaks to divine […]

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The Devil Wears Nada

“Um,” says Andrea Sachs, that boring and undeveloped accessory of the “devil,” Miranda Priestly who is the editor of Runway fashion magazine.  “Um,” Sachs repeats as prominent literary people insist how eloquent she is.  “Um,” shouts Andrea Sachs as I turn another page in a novel that appears to have very little to do with […]

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