Here's where I'm posting my written work. I just got my MA in Literature from the University of Idaho -- a student no more. Actually, I'm just taking a little break before I dive back into my studies. I'll be teaching Composition at UI for the next year. So far it's great. Still, during my time in school I wrote several essays that I like. I started posting them to this page awhile ago, and they've been fairly popular. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find them entertaining or helpful or both.

Fiction        Essays         Link Lists          Game Reviews


Update: Super short fiction by Shawn is now available at www.the-phone-book.com. Look in the archives for Issue 1.0. The Phone Book has been very successful, and I just worked on another project they are sponsoring, The Huddersfield Tales, which you can interact with through The Speakers' Corner.

Check out Autoerotica, a comic my friend, Mike Peutz, drew from a sudden fiction I wrote.

The list of stories here has shrunk. I have taken off the working versions of stories that were posted here. There are still a few left on the site, listed below, and if you are curious to read my fiction, please feel free to email.

Told from multiple points of view, "Mutt" is all about communication, faith, habit, and traumatic injuries to the groin.

Sometimes all we need is a little kindness, a little direction, and a little friendly persuasion. In "Tenderness" we see that connections happen in the most unlikely places.

Cisneros and Alexie: Different Fights, Same Moon (an analytical fiction)
This is not really a story, and not really an essay. It's hard to figure out where to put it, so here it is, right in the middle. Sandra Cisneros and Sherman Alexie are two of my favorite writers. You should think so, too.

AKA "Shawn's college papers." Here are some of the papers I wrote that I'm especially proud of. The latet round includes essays I wrote for a postcolonialism course, a southern writers course, and a Japanese history course. These papers have been used as sources in other students' papers, as material to enhance classroom discussions, and for personal enjoyment. I'm very proud that my essays have appealed to so many folks, and I hope they maintain their appeal. Please enjoy these, and feel free to use them for any kind of academic or educational purposes. I always appreciate an email, but rarely want more than that.

New! Coping Through History: Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic, History, and Reconciliation Horwitz's book is an incredible journey through the south, and this essay is (hopefully) an incredible journey through the book.

New! Hikikomori: Homicidal Teens of Japan
Since the summer of 2000, Japan has seen an alarming trend develop. Young men, teenagers, are going on killing sprees, as destructive and horrifying as the American school shootings of the past couple years.

New! Ranald MacDonald: Not Your Average Gaijin
MacDonald was the son of a Scottish trader and a Chinook Indian princess. He was also the first American teacher of English in Japan, at a time when gaijin were put to death.

New! Dojoji, One of Yukio Mishima's Modern Noh Plays
This short essay gives a summary and some light analysis of Dojoji, a bizarre, but incredibly moving and gripping, short play by Mishima.

New! Yukio Mishima's Spring Snow: A Novel of Conflicted Japan
This essay traces the historical content of Spring Snow and analyzes how the novel reflects changing social norms and attitudes in Meiji-era Japan.

New! Confronting the Stage: M. Butterfly and A Tempest as Examples of Postcolonial Drama These are two moving and intriguing plays. In this essay I talk up the postcolonial connections in these plays.

New! Hobbes' "Answer to Davenant's Preface to Gondibert"
In his essay, Hobbes takes a stab at poetic theory. While usually sticking to the realm of philosophy, his thoughts on poetry aren't so bad. This is really just a summary of Hobbes' essay, along with some thought to contextualize and analyze, but it could be very useful for somebody just approaching the material for the first time.

New! Michel Foucault: Truth and Power
One of the best things about Foucault is how tough he makes me feel. I don't know why. This essay, like the Hobbes essay above, is a summary and some light analysis and contextualization for Foucault's essay.

The Silenced Majority: Colonization of the Mind and the Flesh Eating Zombie
The Night of the Living Dead Trilogy considered in light of Postcolonial theory and late Capitalist criticism. Marx & Foucault & Bob, oh my!

His Weak, His Dumb, His Fat, His Lazy: An Introduction to George Saunders
If you ever feel like you're in a George Saunders story just give me a hollar. If you don't know who George Saunders is, check this piece out. It's a basic overview and a few stabs at some literary connections. Most importantly, it's all about one of the funniest and most talented authors out there today.

The Swamp Waters of Your Affection: "The Contest" by Grace Paley
Oh, to be an old Jewish lady! Grace Paley makes it seem ideal. Here, I do a little critical reading of her very excellent short story.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: So it goes. (also available on The Vonnegut Web)
A biography and critical survey of Vonnegut's work, this paper has been pretty popular on the web since The Vonnegut Web picked it up. It's also really big with the high school students.

Wordsworth and Coleridge: Emotion, Imagination and Complexity
One of those boring Brit Lit essays, this one discusses, well, Wordsworth and Coleridge, and their views on Emotion and Imagination. And the whole thing is really complex, I guarantee. It's not that I like this paper a whole lot, but I got an A on it from a notoriously difficult Brit Lit traditionalist, so I'm proud of that.

Only the Sick: Tennyson, Browning, Arnold and Carlyle
A survey of what to do about the condition of 19th Century England. I know, real pertinent. This was for the same Brit Lit course as the paper above, and is here for pretty much the same reason.

Barbara Kruger: Signs of Postmodernity
Kruger is a phenomenal artist, and someday everybody will know that. If you already know that, or if you don't, check out this essay, where I do a basic postmodern reading of her work.

Interpretation Brings Us Together: Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony and the Hermeneutic Circle
Silko is a genius, Ceremony is a phenomenal book, and I liked it a lot. Apparently a lot of you do, too, which is good. Do you feel closer? In this essay I bring together the worlds of German philosophy and Native American literary art. Phew, that made me tired.

Their Eyes Were Watching God: Evidence of a Postmodern Tendancy
It's tenuative, but nonetheless, I like Zora Neale Hurston so much that I just have to keep her around. This is a fairly early essay, and illustrates nicely just how inclusive postmodernism can be. Unfortunately, I'm not sure many folks would agree with me about this book in particular. Still, it's an amazing novel and this is a somewhat interesting critical look at it.

Death and Burial in the Anglo-Saxon World
So, thinking about getting back to your roots and doing the whole Anglo-Saxon afterdeath thing? I can sympathize. It's hard to find out about this stuff, so I surveyed what's out there and came up with this essay detailing how death and burial were regarded and dealt with in the Anglo-Saxon world.

Social Illusions in Much Ado About Nothing
This is just a quick little essay about Shakespeare's classic comedy. It discusses the different acts the two sets of lovers perform for the rest of the characters and makes some good points about that.

Link Lists
I collect a lot of links, as I'm sure many of you do. However, I don't really like links pages on my personal site. I'll gladly add links to sites I think people need to check out, especially sites that I'm involved with or that I know the creator(s), but I'm not much of one for a link exchange beyond the Wdog.com crew. Still, I know the web is a great tool, and I do research on the web often. I also often write up lists of good sites for classmates, students and instructors. So I've decided to put those up here.

Links to Sites About and Containing Comics
This is a pretty large list with some great resources. I have to note that this is a list compiled from my work and the work of Sarah Wichlacz, whose new site kicks ass.

Postcolonialism on the Web
These are links to various postcolonialism websites. There's a lot out there, and the field of postcolonialism is so varied and inclusive that this list covers a lot of territory. It will at least get you started.

GamesFirst! Reviews
I am now co-owner and Editor for GamesFirst!, one of the web's top independant video game review sites. I write different pieces each week, including articles, editorials and interviews, but I'm not going to index that stuff here. Updating GF! every day is enough for me. So go check out GamesFirst!, and if you only want to read my stuff, do a search for Shawn Rider in the search engine.



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The material provided above is the result of hard work by myself and my friends. All text and images are (C)1999 by Shawn Rider, shawnr@wdog.com,  and/or the appropriate party, and are not available for public use unless specifically noted such. There's not much I can do about it, so if you do use them please link to me ( http://www.wdog.com/rider ) and keep my name attached. I'm a college student, so, if you like what you see, I come cheap. If you've read this much of the copyright statement, you've read too much. I actually don't believe much in copyright. That's probably bad, being an original artist and all, but, especially at this stage in the game, there's not a lot to lose. Spread around the goodness. I figure not many people would read this, especially not crooks ripping off my stuff and saying it's their own. I can trust you, right? You've read this far; you care. Thanks for caring. Any banners found on these pages are not commercial links. I made them and they go to pages I work on. Feel free to use them to link from your page. This page is for fun, not profit, although fun and profitable would be a best-case scenerio. Scripts used on these pages were generated using tools available at www.builder.com and www.nebulus.org . Feel free to link to any page in this web. No hotlinks, please. Thanks for stopping by.