Fathom Magazine: “Teaching Confession, Learning Repentance”

A few years ago, a student in one of my lit classes recommended a book to me, based on the readings I assigned in the course. “It’s about a guy who hears voices that tell him to murder everyone, but he acts like this really nice person who everyone loves,” explained; “It seems like the…

Interior Space Invaders: Disruptive Neighbors and the Relational Self in Updike’s Rabbit Redux

Contrary to the solipsism emphasized in most discussions of John Updike’s Rabbit tetralogy, this article examines the tenuous and improper community Harry Angstrom forms when he invites two members of enemy groups to stay in his house. Drawing from Kierkegaard’s “neighbor-love” and Levinas’s phenomenological ethics, I argue that the presence of others shatters Harry’s selfhood,…