with links to these Subject Areas:
♦ See below for Travel, Memoir, and (at end of page) Poetry.
♦ Go to the Lead Post for the series The Arts of the Essay.
◊ REVIEWS & COMMENTARIES
“Fate and Style in The Godfather“ — The respected Sights & Sounds polls ranked this movie the #1 film of all time in 2012, but a class of First-Year students thought it was “boring” and prompted this review, which links the movie’s “slow pace” to the inevitable fate of Michael Corleone. Read review.
“Come on, Cubs, Play Small Ball” — “Cub fans are the tragic historians of American sport,” the author contends. This piece about keeping sports in its place and not always swinging for the long ball was originally published in a slightly altered form in the Chicago Sun Times. Read essay.
◊ ESSAYS ON BLACK, CHICAGO & WORLD WRITERS
“Activism and Inwardness” — Dr. Guzman’s comments at the memorial service of Carolyn Rodgers, National Book Award nominee and one of Chicago’s greatest writers. What is the relationship between poetic inwardness and social change? Read essay.
“The Saint and the Sage: The Fiction of Raja Rao” — Nobel-nominated Raja Rao was one of India’s greatest writers. Dr. Guzman’s widely reprinted essay is considered one of the finest on Rao and the relationship of Indian religion and philosophy to social change. Read essay, Part 1 / Part 2.
“As in myth…The Fiction of NVM Gonzalez” — Richard Guzman’s essay on one of the world’s greatest writers is widely considered one of the best on Gonzalez and Philippine culture. It has been reprinted numerous times, including in the University of the Philippine’s commemorative boxed set of Gonzalez’s work, and in Asian American Writers, where editor Harold Bloom (Yale University) assembled his pick of the best 15 modern essays on the subject. Read essay, Part 1 / Part 2. ♦ For more on Filipino Culture go Here for an essay and video on the Philippines’ “Concert King and Queen.” And see below for a link to “Welcome to the International Hotel,” a story of Filipino radicalism in the U.S.
◊ CREATIVE NON-FICTION, TRAVEL & MEMOIR:
“The Accidental Radical” — A wry take on a very serious time in American history and the author’s “accidental” part in it. It’s the early 70’s at the University of California, Berkeley, a hotbed of protests against the wars in Southeast Asia, and somehow the restaurant chain Long John Silvers suddenly gets involved. This essay is part of one of Dr. Guzman’s latest projects, a book of short stories and essays on the fate of radicalism in the United States. Read this essay. You may also read another part of this project—one in a decidedly different tone—tentatively titled “Welcome to the International Hotel.”
“Miscegenation and Me” — lauded as an essay “in which an interweaving of autobiography and theory leads to unexpected and insightful commentary”—is Richard Guzman’s deep exploration of interracial relationships. It appeared in the book Mixing It Up and speculates on a new age of the hybrid. Read essay, Part 1 / Part 2.
“Fear of Pigeons & Churches”—Walking the Queen’s Flower Walk in London, the author discovers (he’s sure) the inspiration for Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, though why English churches remain relatively empty remains a puzzle. This is one of a series of pieces on London. Read essay.
Dr. Guzman is also a published poet. Read some of his poems, poems from students and colleagues, and his commentary on poetry and poets. Go to a list of poems and commentaries on poetry.