A Cat Named Quilty Lives Up to His Shifty Child Molester Namesake (Minus the Child Molesting)

Of course, it’s not completely unusual for a domesticated animal to be named after a literary character or titan. It’s the sort of thing one remembers happening in New York almost as late as 2005, when fresh transplants would name their dogs something like Salinger as an ode to their recent transference to the city and the self-assurance that they were literary enough not only … Continue reading A Cat Named Quilty Lives Up to His Shifty Child Molester Namesake (Minus the Child Molesting)

In Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey, 2016 Was Always Doomed Before It Began

There is no “ideal” symbolism when it comes to the monkey as a portent. Sure, Chinese culture speculates that the monkey is a sign of good luck, but when it comes to their inherently mischievous nature, come to roost in 2016, the Year of the Monkey, it’s not something one wants around during an election year. This much is ruminated upon in Patti Smith’s latest … Continue reading In Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey, 2016 Was Always Doomed Before It Began

The Chauvinism of Woody Allen’s “The Whore of Mensa”

December 16, 1974. Woody Allen is fast rising in the film industry on his own terms, then most freshly with 1973’s Sleeper, which would establish 1) his inimitable screenplay concepts and 2) an enduring artistic partnership (after a romantic one from 1970 to 1971) with Diane Keaton for the rest of the 70s that would lead to the immortal Annie Hall. Having already gotten his … Continue reading The Chauvinism of Woody Allen’s “The Whore of Mensa”

The Italian Prostitute Can’t Be Bought (By An American): The Girl on the Via Flaminia

For those who seem to have forgotten that anti-American sentiment didn’t merely arise when Donald Trump assumed the presidency, let us turn back time to the thick of the nationality’s sudden involvement in World War II, once the Japanese tapped the sleeping giant that was the U.S. on the shoulder with a friendly little bomb on Pearl Harbor. It was then, already two years into … Continue reading The Italian Prostitute Can’t Be Bought (By An American): The Girl on the Via Flaminia

Raise Your Hand If You’re A Millennial Who Has Ever Felt Personally Victimized by Bret Easton Ellis–And Vaguely Gotten Off On it

One cannot, perhaps, be an average hypersensitive member of what Bret Easton Ellis calls Generation Wuss in order to read his latest book (which he deems intended “for the Bret Easton Ellis completist”–an admittedly waning faction), called, provokingly, White. In case one isn’t familiar, Generation Wuss is a reference to the emotionally reactive millennial, a breed that is, at this juncture, no stranger to having … Continue reading Raise Your Hand If You’re A Millennial Who Has Ever Felt Personally Victimized by Bret Easton Ellis–And Vaguely Gotten Off On it

Fahrenheit 451 Vindicated Anew: On the Poor (and Daft) Being More Prone to Using Screens

At one point, in the genesis of smartphone culture, the cost of an iPhone was astronomical, a luxury good intended, as always, to appeal to the rich as the initial demographic to get a taste of the future (think that prime example scene of 80s yuppie Glenn Gulia [Matthew Glave] in the The Wedding Singer coming in the house with a CD player and bragging, … Continue reading Fahrenheit 451 Vindicated Anew: On the Poor (and Daft) Being More Prone to Using Screens

Ariana Grande Songs as Shakespeare Plays

As Ariana Grande serves to build on an old lexicon–that of love and love lost–both in pop culture and (before that came along to destroy it) literature, it bears noting that the songs on thank u, next offer certain similar thematic elements to most of William Shakespeare’s plays. He was, after all, the supposed inventor of tragedian love, and the intermingling comedy that comes with it … Continue reading Ariana Grande Songs as Shakespeare Plays

Off the Rails: Sylvia Plath’s Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom

Of course it’s no coincidence that Sylvia Plath wrote an allegorical tale about heading to purgatory via train just months before her first suicide attempt at the age of twenty. While Plath’s mother, Aurelia, was brought up Catholic, Plath herself seemed only to flirt with the religion for different, largely erudite reasons throughout her lifetime, using it for the purpose of Mary Ventura and the … Continue reading Off the Rails: Sylvia Plath’s Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom

The Mysterious Woman is Still the Most Beguiling Woman: Oscar Wilde’s “The Sphinx Without A Secret”

As most classifications of people are divided into two primary categories, it would seem that, by and large, there are those who overshare and those who wish nothing more than to guard every aspect of themselves even to those closest to them. It is this sort of personage that serves as the subject of Oscar Wilde’s short story, “The Sphinx Without a Secret.” Told from … Continue reading The Mysterious Woman is Still the Most Beguiling Woman: Oscar Wilde’s “The Sphinx Without A Secret”