Top Heading for Michael McDonald's Website Portrait of Michael McDonald by Rhoda Baer
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In considering what he described as “the American compulsion to take your identity from your profession, with its corollary of only one trade to a practitioner,” Richard Gilman—famous as a drama critic but also a teacher, a writer, and more than a little bit of an existentialist philosopher—neatly observed that such pigeonholing “may be a convenience to society but is burdensome and constricting to yourself.” It’s an opinion that goes a long way to explaining the raison d’être for this site.

I began my professional career as a lawyer over a quarter of a century ago. I’ve had my share of successes and remain a member in good standing of many different bar associations, including the Supreme Court of the United States. But at the risk of going against the American grain and being inconvenient to society at-large, I’ve also pursued other, more literary interests, refusing to constrict myself to the single identity of an “attorney-at-law.”

It all began with my discovery of France as an exchange student at the Université Catholique de l’Ouest in 1975-76. I’ve held a lifelong interest in European culture ever since and have devoted a significant amount of time to learning, as best I can, a small number of the 23 officially recognized modern European languages—emerging most fluent in French, Italian and German. It’s a passion that has also led me to write, somewhat sporadically at first, but with increasing frequency over the past decade, on modern European literature.

The literary reviews, articles and essays I’ve written are scattered in all sorts of publications ranging from daily newspapers to academic quarterlies. And scattered they would likely remain were it not for the possibilities afforded by the advent of the Internet. Besides serving as a one-stop archive for most of my published writings on literature, this site will also provide information on my forthcoming books, works in progress and upcoming public appearances.

If you’d care to learn more about what I’ve been up to most recently, be sure to click on the blue-highlighted “Recent News” bar at the upper-left side of this page beneath my name. Following the link that then appears will allow you to browse through various articles, events, and activities in reverse chronological order.

Enjoy taking a look around and by all means let me know what you think.
McDonald Portraits by Rhoda Baer
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