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Literature Guide for Returning Spring

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  • Mo
    Literature Guide for Returning Spring As my version of Scott “Cyclops” Summers is an English teacher, my stories often include quotes and other references
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 19, 2005
      Literature Guide for Returning Spring

      As my version of Scott �Cyclops� Summers is an English
      teacher, my stories often include quotes and other
      references to literature, classic and modern.
      Following are works referenced in �Returning Spring�
      with urls for those who would like to read the
      literature quoted.


      William Shakespeare. Sonnets 19 and 98

      The Shakespearean sonnets show up a lot in my stories.
      My version of Scott is not only an English teacher
      but also gay. Like many gay English teachers I have
      known he is partial to the some of the early sonnets,
      the ones written to Will�s male lover, known as the
      Fair Youth. Sonnet 19, which gives the title for two
      of the stories in this series, talks about the cruel
      effects of time and expresses the sentiment that the
      lover the poem is addressed to will be forever young
      in verse. The imagery fits in with the spring and
      rebirth themes of this series. There�s also a phoenix
      reference: �burn the long-lived phoenix in her
      blood.� Read the poem at

      Sonnet 98 covers another common theme in Shakespeare�s
      poetry � missing an absent lover. It begins �From you
      have I been absent in the spring� and discourses on
      missing a loved one who is far away. Two of the story
      titles reference this poem. It can be found at

      William Butler Yeats

      �Her Anxiety.� This brief poem tells about a woman�s
      fears that her lover�s ardor will cool, and asks that
      he reassure her on that point with the refrain �prove
      that I lie.� It fit in this series in several obvious
      ways. The series title comes from this poem and
      Charles Xavier quotes it to Storm when speaking about
      the possibility that Scott and Jean won�t reconcile.
      Read it at http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/1501/.

      �His Phoenix.� This wonderfully evocative poem talks
      about the changes that time brings. Unlike
      Shakespeare in Sonnet 19, Yeats discusses attempts to
      stay young through artifice, rather than the
      timelessness of art. He speaks of those who contrive
      to appear younger than they are or to preserve some
      aspect of their youth and indulgently ends each stanza
      with �I knew a phoenix in my youth so let them have
      their day.� The themes of change and rebirth fit in
      well with this series. See for yourself at

      e.e. cummings. A couple of the stories reference a
      delightful poem by e.e. cummings called �Spring is
      Like a Perhaps Hand.� The poem speaks of change and
      possibilities. It can be read at


      William Shakespeare. A number of Shakespearean plays
      are referenced in this series. The plays are widely
      available but I like www.shakespeare-online.com for
      its clear layout and interesting commentary.

      As You Like It. The title for the eighth story comes
      from something Rosalind says in this play. It�s one
      of several phoenix references in the Shakespearean
      canon. Sometimes Will referred to the legendary
      bird�s ability to die and be reborn from its own
      ashes. As such it is symbol of all sorts of rebirth.
      In this case, though, the bird is referenced for its
      legendary rarity � only one phoenix, says the legend,
      lived at a time. Read the entire play at

      Charles says to Ethan � as Hamlet said to Horatio �
      �There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of
      in your philosophy.� The occasion of Hamlet saying
      that is his friend disbelieving in ghosts. In
      Charles�s case, he is chiding his friend who doesn�t
      believe that the woman who seems to be Jean could be
      someone else. Hamlet is widely believed to be the
      best of Shakespeare�s tragedies and is arguably the
      most famous play in the English language. Read it at

      Henry VI, part 2. A brief passage from this play is
      referenced a couple of times in this series:

      Now �tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
      Suffer them now, and they�ll outgrow the garden,
      And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.

      Ororo quotes this bit literally, inviting �Jean� to
      join her weeding. Metaphorically, it�s used to refer
      to the false Jean, who needs to be uprooted before she
      chokes the X-Men.
      to read the play.

      Midsummer Night�s Dream
      Scott quotes a famous line from this play to Logan,
      �The course of true love never did run smooth,� when
      the two of them are flying to Vermont in the last
      story of the series. He tries to say it lightly and
      claims he�s joking but Logan tells him he knows he
      isn�t. One of Shakespeare�s most engaging comedies,
      it can be found at

      Mark Twain. _The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn_
      This is the book that Scott is teaching in the first
      story. Like Scott, I love Huck Finn, and think it�s
      worth reading and rereading every few years. The
      controversy over its use as required reading in high
      school classrooms has been going on for some time, so
      I hypothesize it will still be an issue in the �not so
      distant future� when the X-Men movies take place. You
      can read the book lots of places, including
      http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/twain/huckfinn.html. A
      couple of essays concerning the advisability of
      teaching Huck Finn, with very different opinions, can
      be found at

      Thomas Wolfe. _You Can�t Go Home Again_. Wolfe�s
      best known novel is referenced by �Jean� when she
      tells Ororo that she is having difficulty feeling at
      home since her return. I was unable to find Wolfe�s
      classic novel online, but it would likely be available
      in most any bookstore or library.


      �Jean� says that Scott can only see �through a glass
      darkly.� It�s a quote from the King James translation
      of 1 Corinthians, a book of the Christian bible. The
      section it comes from is Chapter 13, known as the Love
      Chapter. The Christian bible can be found many
      places, including
      http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/rsv.browse.html with an
      option to see both King James and Revised Standard
      translations, with side-by-side text for comparison.

      Sigmund Freud. There are a couple of quotes from and
      references to Freud, the father of psychoanalysis.
      Dr. Leeds quotes Freud�s famous statement that the
      hallmark of a healthy personality is the ability to
      love and to work � leiben und arbeiten. Scott briefly
      discusses Huck�s dilemma about whether or not to
      reveal Jim�s whereabouts in Freudian terms, when he�s
      teaching the book in the first story. Although
      Freud�s psychological theories are no longer generally
      accepted, his insight into human nature has made his
      work a strong influence on Western literature and well
      worth reading. Freud�s writings are easily available
      on the internet, in English translation. A very
      accessible work to start with is �The Psychopathology
      of Everyday Life� which can be found at

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