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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Good (food) and Evil (in American literature)

How we HAVE been eating. Greek food at a lovely nearby restaurant (where some jolly patrons made copious fun of Phil for almost setting fire to his shirt). Pastries from every bakery we pass. Chocolates from Leonidas (declasse, according to some, but so good). A frite-o-licious dinner at a cafe on the Korenmarkt -- the main square -- with our friend Jo. As I write, in fact, Phil is preparing a meal that includes local delicacies endive and jambon d'Ardennes.

Luckily for our figures, we have also been walking. We seem to get lost every time we go out the door, which is partly because the streets curve gently, depositing us far from where we think we're going, and partly because I can't see the map without my reading glasses. So we've covered much of the area between the University and downtown several times in the last few days, now that the weather's warmed, dodging trolley cars and thousands of students on bicycles. Of course it rains much of the time, but we have fine new umbrellas.

Today was Phil's first lecture in his Evil in American Literature class for Masters students, and I went to hear it. Part was on the Puritan tradition and the concept of evil in American life (with nods to George W for reinstating it in the 21st century), and part was on Poe. Phil was brilliant and energetic, of course, and the students were transfixed, even though he didn't start talking about sex until 40 minutes in. A success in every way!

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