identity Archive

In Books We Trust: On Reading and Building Identities

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For those of us who have found ourselves marginalized and rejected at some point in our lives because of who we are, books can offer a refuge from which we may attain some understanding of ourselves and the world.
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Looking for Cavafy in Istanbul

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When I first set out to find C.P. Cavafy’s maternal home five years ago, my friends and I figured heading to the local church in Neochori (present day Yeniköy) would yield the best results. The Alexandrian Greek poet had spent three years of his life, from 1882 to 1885,
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Review: İSTANBUL İSTANBUL by Burhan Sönmez, translated by Ümit Hussein

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İstanbul İstanbul Burhan Sönmez, translated by Ümit Hussein OR Books, May 2016 192 pp, $18 Buy: paperback | eBook Unlike in New York, where managing to live in the city for ten years grants one the status of being a New Yorker, rarely will you meet a person living
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On Dressing Up

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There’s a section of Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock that’s famous enough to have its own almost-official title. The Toilet Scene. People mention this scene often when they talk about the poem’s mock-epic qualities, its training of a heroic gaze, modeled on the loftiness of The Aeneid
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The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Raised by Humans” by Christopher Knapp

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Anyone who has owned a cat has at some point looked on it with envy as it slumbered peacefully through the day. How are they so comfortable in their own skin? So clear in purpose, while we humans struggle so mightily to know who we are and what we
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Round-Down: A Failure of Responsibility

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Kenneth Goldsmith, writing professor at the University of Pennsylvania and self-proclaimed “uncreative” poet, came under fire two weeks ago for performing Michael Brown’s autopsy report as a found poem at a conference at Brown University—and, in the aftermath, the incident has caused artists in every genre to ask: is
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How to Write Indian Literature

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If you’re studying a nation’s literature, it’s best to know that nation’s language. English literature finds definition in its mother tongue, despite the linguistic leap from Shakespeare to Zadie Smith. American literature, whose myriad dialects are called upon by Walt Whitman, John Ashbery, and Nikki Giovanni, rests comfortably in
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