The Time Machine Predicted the Post-Human Era

Just as J.G. Ballard and Ray Bradbury, the eerie foresight with which H.G. Wells told of a dystopian future feels increasingly palpable. Nay, is actually here, despite any rosy “we can make a change” attitudes to the contrary. And unlike, say, Philip K. Dick, Wells does not predict a future in which humans have evolved (some more reluctantly than others) with technology, but one in … Continue reading The Time Machine Predicted the Post-Human Era

The 70s Got the “Virus Apocalypse” Right With The Girl Who Owned A City

It is in the sixth grade that we are assigned to read O.T. Nelson’s The Girl Who Owned A City (perhaps merely an anomalous part of the reading curriculum in California). Because kids have a tendency to go along with most everything adults say at that age, it doesn’t come across as entirely strange or disturbing to be reading a dystopian YA novel about a … Continue reading The 70s Got the “Virus Apocalypse” Right With The Girl Who Owned A City

New York Is A Spineless Place, Which Is Why It Has Publishing Companies to Match: On Hachette & Woody Allen

New York, the place everyone still deems as a gumption-filled milieu where we’re all free to be you and me, so long as it doesn’t step on the wrong “tastemaker’s” toes or offend the wrong victim’s (a.k.a. someone with clout/public visibility) sensibilities. Let us get this straight: this isn’t merely about Woody Allen. About whether one “supports” him or not. Or whether one “believes” him … Continue reading New York Is A Spineless Place, Which Is Why It Has Publishing Companies to Match: On Hachette & Woody Allen

Ewa Mazierska Brings the Character of Poland (and Other Foreign Lands) to Life in Neighbours & Tourists

While many of us try to escape the place from whence we came (particularly those of an artistic temperament), there is often no avoiding how much the milieu that formed the core of our being remains within us. For cinema critic and short story writer Ewa Mazierska, that milieu is undeniably Włocławek. Or at least Poland as a general framework for the narratives that comprise … Continue reading Ewa Mazierska Brings the Character of Poland (and Other Foreign Lands) to Life in Neighbours & Tourists

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good (Nor Should She Be): You’ll Think Twice About Your Write-Off of Old Women After Reading Helene Tursten’s Tale of Intrigue

Preconceived notions are, of course, the unfortunate backbone that makes this world go hastily ‘round. It’s what saves us all time and effort when it comes to actually scratching beneath the surface of things. While a bittersweet reality of life, stereotyping is a lazy human phenomenon that works to eighty-something Maud’s advantage. For she is the eponymous “elderly lady” in Helene Tursten’s An Elderly Lady … Continue reading An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good (Nor Should She Be): You’ll Think Twice About Your Write-Off of Old Women After Reading Helene Tursten’s Tale of Intrigue

Now That She’s Dead, The Thank Yous Come In For Elizabeth Wurtzel Paving a Certain Long and Whining Road for Many Subsequent Female Writers

Elizabeth Wurtzel was all too aware of the scandal and outrage she was about to wreak with the release of the then most “self-indulgent” (read: privileged white girl) novel–nay, memoir–of all-time (put out on the heels of other “whiny” Gen Xer fare, including Douglas Coupland’s 1991 book, Generation X, and Susanna Kaysen’s [though not a Gen Xer herself] 1993 Girl, Interrupted). And even if she … Continue reading Now That She’s Dead, The Thank Yous Come In For Elizabeth Wurtzel Paving a Certain Long and Whining Road for Many Subsequent Female Writers

The Timeliness of The Great Gatsby Going Into the Public Domain in the 20s

As the first decade of the 2020s gets underway, it seems all too timely that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most major work, The Great Gatsby, will at last enter the public domain on January 1, 2021. As one of the most quintessential novels not only of the flapper decade, but the twentieth century itself, its foray into the free-for-all realm in “the new 20s” has more … Continue reading The Timeliness of The Great Gatsby Going Into the Public Domain in the 20s

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