How a Women’s Magazine Fortified the Myth of Thanksgiving and Its Absurd Menu

“He who loves not his country, can love nothing.” This quote from Lord Byron is how Sarah J. Hale, perhaps known more in the present for penning “Mary Had a Little Lamb” than being the “Mother of Thanksgiving,” commences Northwood: A Tale of New England, Vol. 1. Lord Byron’s words are a strong indication of just how much Hale was responsible for the white-washing of Thanksgiving under … Continue reading How a Women’s Magazine Fortified the Myth of Thanksgiving and Its Absurd Menu

“Try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose”: The French Dispatch is a Bittersweet Reminder of the Bygone Era That Fortified Writers Through Literary Magazines

Edgar Wright might be of the belief that the notion of there being “better days” is a fallacy, but that really doesn’t seem to be true when it comes to literary magazines. An enterprise that long ago achieved its heyday, never to really do so again. For it is a decidedly antiquated medium that is difficult to make “sexy” to anyone except pretentious East Coast … Continue reading “Try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose”: The French Dispatch is a Bittersweet Reminder of the Bygone Era That Fortified Writers Through Literary Magazines

Irony Overload: Grimes Reading The Communist Manifesto

People do all sorts of things to cope after a breakup. Get drunk, take drugs, have sex with random strangers—anything to numb the pain and forget about the ex in question, even just for a little while. But one coping mechanism that few engage in (except in a highly specific scenario such as Grimes’) is the decision to read The Communist Manifesto. Or “read” it, more accurately. Obviously … Continue reading Irony Overload: Grimes Reading The Communist Manifesto

Valeria’s Self-Publishing Journey Is the Type of Schlock That Encourages Naïve Dreams of Author Grandeur

There are all of about three truly “noteworthy” and “recent” self-publishing success stories: Legally Blonde, Fifty Shades of Grey and Diary of an Oxygen Thief (each book being decidedly diverse in content). There have been others, of course, even from the more “old school” authors, like Proust, Woolf, Austen and Hawthorne. And their work was perhaps more “viral” at the time precisely because we didn’t then use terms like “viral” … Continue reading Valeria’s Self-Publishing Journey Is the Type of Schlock That Encourages Naïve Dreams of Author Grandeur

On the Subversiveness of the Act of Reading in The White Lotus

Reading, in general, feels like an “anomalous” act. Particularly if it’s tangible literature. For “screen methods” have made it easy for “regulars” and vacationers alike to download as many books (a truly odious phrase) as they want to without worrying about the extra bulk it might cause in their suitcase or carry-on. Thus, the subversiveness of “analog” reading is taken to a new level within … Continue reading On the Subversiveness of the Act of Reading in The White Lotus

De Sade’s Reanimation in the Sex Book

Madonna’s still-underrated literary masterpiece, Sex, was arguably the last time a massive audience got truly excited—titillated—about a book. Coffee table or not. And, balk at the prose all you will (including, “My pussy has nine lives”)—it still got people talking about sex in a way they never had as a result of literature since the era of Marquis de Sade’s reign over erotic content. Madonna was … Continue reading De Sade’s Reanimation in the Sex Book

Tarantino Petty: On Not Forgiving Those Who Piss On Your Dreams (Particularly Your Parents)

While promoting his recent novelization of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino confessed freely to Brian Koppelman on his The Moment podcast that the second his mother belittled his aspirations of becoming a writer, he vowed never to give her a “penny” from the eventual fruits of his labor.  The revelation/solemn vow popped into his head when Tarantino was getting a verbal lashing for working on … Continue reading Tarantino Petty: On Not Forgiving Those Who Piss On Your Dreams (Particularly Your Parents)

“The Things I Once Enjoyed Just Keep Me Employed Now”: On the Benefits of Artistic Obscurity

There is an undeniable sadness to knowing that—short of a goddamn miracle—you’re going to end up dying in obscurity like Kafka. Oh sure, you can tell yourself you’ll be that “rare exception” and that you’ve got “true talent” (as if that’s what publishing is about) that outshines all the rest, but you may eventually find that you aren’t rare and talent isn’t enough. And yet, … Continue reading “The Things I Once Enjoyed Just Keep Me Employed Now”: On the Benefits of Artistic Obscurity

Lourdes Leon Reading bell hooks Has Some Weighty Implications

Among other casual bombshells in Lourdes Leon’s first Vanity Fair feature, one included, of all things, her reading list. For starters, it wasn’t necessarily imagined she would be “basic” enough to fuck with Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. For another, bell hooks being name-dropped (specifically 2000’s All About Love: New Visions) seems, in many respects, vaguely traitorous to her own mother, who was the subject of … Continue reading Lourdes Leon Reading bell hooks Has Some Weighty Implications

The Experiences of Ramona Quimby Belong to the Twentieth Century

It seems fitting—poetic, really—that Beverly Cleary’s death should occur as the throes of the pandemic and its effects continue to rage on (despite what the “officials” might try to declare with their attempts at “rosy” depictions; people will say anything to keep the wheels of capitalism turning, after all). For this is the generation of children slated, arguably, to be the most “fucked up”—or at … Continue reading The Experiences of Ramona Quimby Belong to the Twentieth Century