Author Archive

Don Draper Descends Through Dante’s Inferno

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Mad Men was known for its liberal usage of literary allusions, most of which were exactly what you’d expect. But only one allusion lasted the entirety of a season: Dante’s Inferno.
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Buffy Versus Dracula

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which just celebrated its twentieth anniversary, is remembered for its campy, sometimes silly, iconic vampire lore. And yet, while watching it as it aired, it never occurred to me that the classic Prince of Darkness—Dracula—might appear.
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The Affair’s Gender-Swapped “Madwoman in the Attic”

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In the third season of The Affair, one of the Solloway children comes home excited to tell his mother that he’s participating in a musical version of Jane Eyre.
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Literary Television: Dawson’s Creek and Emily Dickinson’s Master Letters

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As bookish '90s teenage role models go, Joey Potter of Dawson's Creek never quite reached the "girl-power" heights of Rory Gilmore, Willow Rosenberg, or Daria.
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The “fall” of “The Hollow Men”

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When I first started watching BBC's serial killer drama The Fall, I was excited to discover that the episode titles were all famous lines from Paradise Lost. But the title is also a reference to another, very different classic poem: “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot.
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The Self-Policing Female Gaze in Emma Cline’s “The Girls”

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Emma Cline’s debut novel, The Girls, is an unabashedly feminist novel that freely acknowledges the presence of patriarchal forces in our society.
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ARRIVAL and the False Dichotomy of Free Will vs Determinism

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ARRIVAL has been hailed for carving a space for the “literary science fiction movie,” and rightly so. Director Denis Villeneuve achieved the nearly impossible feat of making a compelling, relatively crowd-pleasing movie about linguistics, complete with a new alien language composed of 100 logograms, while also weaving in themes of
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In HBO’s Westworld, Literature Is the Key to Personhood

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HBO’s Westworld is rife with literary references that, like the androids populating the titular park, have started to take on a life of their own.
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The Affair’s Slyly Satirical Portrayal of the White Male Literary Darling

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While Showtime’s The Affair has been praised for its incisive exploration of the unreliability of memory, particularly in romantic relationships, some of its most insightful commentary is on the contemporary literary community.
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The 2016 Presidential Election Was Predicted by a 1970’s Absurdist Novel

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A middle-aged white man steps onto the political stage in a fancy suit. He makes speeches that are simple and direct, low on facts but high on rousing rhetoric. He touts an inanimate object as the savior of the economy and a metaphor for the American way of life.
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