Ryan McCarl's blog

Texts about anything

“The Day-Trader,” my most recent short story, is being featured in the July issue of Fogged Clarity. Check it out here. …

Shaman Drum of Ann Arbor, MI, one of the best independent bookstores in the Midwest, permanently shut its doors today. It is a major …

From The Man-Moth He thinks the moon is a small hole at the top of the sky, proving the sky quite useless for protection. …

But how? Genius in the Sperm Whale? Has the Sperm Whale ever written a book, spoken a speech? No, his great genius is declared in his …

I made it, but I have always tried to remember that I owe it to my lucky star, not to myself, and that right next door are entire …

We make the coffee with river water, dipping a canful from among the rocks and letting it set for a time until the silt settles to the …

Nick’s heart tightened as the trout moved. He felt all the old feeling. … His muscles ached and the day was hot, but Nick …

My latest op-ed, “Out of Range,” appeared in this morning’s edition of Antiwar.com. In it, I explore the ethical …

I once said that, after the experiences of the last two years, I could no longer hold to any truth which might oblige me, directly or …

I discovered one of the best poems on war I’ve ever read the other day while reading David P. Barash’s Approaches to Peace, …

Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries - stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will …

I recently finished Halldor Laxness’s Independent People (Sjálfstætt fólk), and it was one of the top ten novels I have ever …

I recently discovered the work of Erazim Kohak, a Czech philosopher and Professor Emeritus at Boston University who has written …

Happy New Year! At the end of each of the past three years, I’ve written a post listing the best books I’ve read over the …

From Brad Leithauser’s introduction to Halldor Laxness’ novel Independent People: “There are good books and there are …

Watch how the cloud sings All you wanted to say or find. Yehuda Amichai –“Let the Coin Decide” And the migration of …

I’ve intended to read Howard Zinn’s revisionist history of the United States - A People’s History of the United …

It was good to finally know that the spirit was everywhere rather than a separate thing. … Clare fed our leftover sandwiches to …

I’ve made plenty of discoveries this year - a love for banjo and bluegrass, a greater appreciation for the outdoors and concern …

There are many reasons policymakers seek to impose detailed curriculum mandates. They may fundamentally distrust educators: Much of the …

I just put the finishing touches on my M.A. thesis, bringing one of the most stressful months of my life to a satisfying close. 10,181 …

Excerpts from Richard Layard’s Happiness: Lessons from a New Science: The extra happiness provided by extra income is greatest …

Two must-reads on current events: -David Brooks on the Obama-Clinton race. -”Bush’s War,” a PBS Frontline documentary …

-Must-read: the New York Times on a severe case of protracted bullying. This is real, and it’s an enormous problem. There is a …

Mathematics, as far as he was concerned, was a Sphinx charged with deceitful puzzles whose cold malicious gaze transfixed her victims, …

Goethe comments that the Church erred in closing the canon of scripture, as God’s creative work still continues, notably in the …

It is impossible to think - seriously - with words like Classicism, Romanticism, Humanism, Realism. …One does not get drunk nor …

Had Pyrrhus not fallen by a beldham’s hand in Argos or Julius Caesar not been knifed to death? They are not to be thought away. …