Entries by Jay Ruud

Contest Question for September 10

Mary Wollstonecraft died on this date in 1797 at the age of 38, 10 days after giving birth to her daughter, who would become the author of Frankenstein. Wollstonecraft wrote novels, a children’s book, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, and philosophical treatises, and is remembered today chiefly for her Vindication of […]

Contest Question for September 3

DON’T START WITH ME: What famous novel by what important writer begins with this paragraph (in English translation):   On May 20, 1859, a hatless gentleman somewhat over forty years old, wearing a dusty coat and checked trousers, came out on to the doorstep of a little country inn on the X— Highway and inquired […]

A Review of Calvary by John Michael McDonagh

John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, the follow up to his 2011 triumph The Guard, finally made it to central Arkansas after some weeks of limited release in the United States. The film premiered at Sundance early in the year, and opened in Great Britain and Ireland in April, where it won the IFTA (Irish Film and […]

Contest Question for August 27

DON’T START WITH ME: What famous novel, by what famous novelist, begins with this passage?   When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, a cheap imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch in a paper box, and a yellow leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a […]

A Review of Boyhood by Richard Linklater

I’ll admit up front that when I heard about how Richard Linklater’s new film, Boyhood, had been filmed over a period of twelve years to follow the life of a fairly typical American boy, Mason (played by the remarkable Ellar Coltrane) from first grade through college orientation, with the same actor playing the boy over […]

A Review of Magic In The Moonlight by Woody Allen

Two things you can put your money on every summer: the Cubs will not make it to the World Series and Woody Allen will release another movie. As he has every year since Annie Hall in 1977, the 78-year-old Allen has provided us with another film—his 44th—to balance out the superheroes, sequels, and assorted “blockbuster” […]