Reading Archive

M. & Mme Bovary the Romantics

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I first read Madame Bovary in high school. I found Emma whiny and annoying like I probably was and couldn’t see too far past her image. I didn’t remember her husband Charles at all, and I definitely had no feelings for him. Who would?

Some Call it Dick Lit

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Some call it Dick Lit, others call it Lad Lit, but many male authors reject both of these genre categories as being reductionist, inaccurate, and for unfairly lumping disparate novels into a single arbitrary category. How can gender be a genre, they ask.

Crafting A Novelscape

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In the words of my own personal goddess of literature, Joyce Carol Oates, one should “…never underestimate the power­­—benevolent, malevolent, profound and irresistible— of place.” These words make my heart keen.

Food in Cuba (and PARADISO at 50)

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Angshuman Das’s excellent series on food writing has made me think about the role cuisine plays in Cuban literature and about the meals I ate when I visited the island in 2012 to do research for my dissertation.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Folk Tales

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My reading list of late includes a lot of folk and fairy tales, reappropriated and retold: Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Warrior Woman, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Call it my not-so-secret fondness for narratives that deconstruct and rewrite their source material.

Critiquing Communication Creatively: Egan’s Twitter-Formatted “Black Box” As a Critique of 21st Century Conversation

Today, we have this new platform for conversation, a no-man’s land in the arena of how we communicate with one another. We can say just about whatever we want however we want, we can share and consume anything from artwork to politics, lip syncs to gun violence.

When Poetry and Comics Intersect

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The cross-pollination between comics and poetry may seem unexpected, but it’s certainly a creative collaboration that has become more popular within the past decade. Evidence of the two forms meeting occurs again and again.

“Every Movie is a Ghost Story”: On Writing About Film

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As is true for many grad students, the scope of my reading practice has contracted, to varying degrees, around my chosen field. Particularly when I was taking courses, film theory and criticism necessarily comprised the bulk of my reading.

Origin Stories: Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels

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I was on book three of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet when I told a friend that Lila, the book’s second protagonist, is one of the most amazing literary creations I’ve ever read. “But she’s not a creation,” my friend responded. “She’s obviously real.”

Beyond Haruki Murakami: Where to Find Japanese Lit

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Forget Haruki Murakami. Welcome to the world of Mariko Nagai and Asa Nonami. This month’s Asian lit coverage includes two Japanese short stories by Nagai and Nonami (which center on gender and death), some lit mags featuring a wealth of Asian lit—and a Japanese movie that’ll make you laugh