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

The Sadness of Past Romance As Delineated by the Depiction of Age in Less

While, of course, there is a bittersweetness to all novels centered on aging, perhaps no other in recent memory gets it so right regarding both the cruel and just nature of time. That novel in question being Andrew Sean Greer’s Less, which miraculously won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2018 in the face of it being a “humorous” work. And, as we all know, … Continue reading The Sadness of Past Romance As Delineated by the Depiction of Age in Less

Riddle Me This: What’s the Meaning of a Kiss? by Marissa Glover

It’s no coincidence that we use our mouth, our lips and tongue, to kiss—the same body parts used in conversation, which is the human’s primary method of communication. The kiss offers a secondary mode of communication, and the messages we can send via a kiss are as vast and varied as the types of kisses that exist. This communicative nature gives the kiss its power, … Continue reading Riddle Me This: What’s the Meaning of a Kiss? by Marissa Glover

“I’m Not Just Doing It For the Likes”: Does Writing Mean Anything If No One Sees It?

I once had an “s/o” who used to criticize me for, among other things, constantly feeling the need to publish my work (belittled to that still demeaning term, “blogging”) ad nauseum on all social media outlets. He would taunt and lord his superiority over me, remarking of his own writing, “I’m not just doing it for the likes,” as though to emphasize precisely how frivolous … Continue reading “I’m Not Just Doing It For the Likes”: Does Writing Mean Anything If No One Sees It?

On the Usual Problems of a Celebrity Like Sean Penn Writing a Book–One That’s Actually Prose

“It seems wrong to say that so dystopian a novel is great fun to read, but it’s true. I suspect that Thomas Pynchon and Hunter S. Thompson would love this book.” High praise indeed from Salman Rushdie. But is it truly the writing of Sean Penn or Sean Penn himself that has attracted this level of favor for a debut novel?–one that, at the very … Continue reading On the Usual Problems of a Celebrity Like Sean Penn Writing a Book–One That’s Actually Prose

Anikó Dóra Tóth’s Right Swipe Stories: An Anthropological Study of Tinder

I have never used Tinder. Never even toyed with the initial steps of creating a profile. And it’s not because I missed the generation that it took by storm–millennials–so much as I possess an unshakeable mistrust of this notion of “love” being just one swipe away. The lack of tactility, effort and emotion involved in Tinder and offshoots like it are what have kept and … Continue reading Anikó Dóra Tóth’s Right Swipe Stories: An Anthropological Study of Tinder

Every Man Is A Victim of the Female Caricature in Patricia Highsmith’s Little Tales of Misogyny

Deft and merciless in her portrayal of humanity, Patricia Highsmith is little remembered for her short stories so much as her most famous character, Tom Ripley of the semi-eponymous The Talented Mr. Ripley and, more recently, The Price of Salt thanks to its film adaptation into Carol. But with the release of her taut short story collection, Little Tales of Misogyny, in 1977 (in Germany first, … Continue reading Every Man Is A Victim of the Female Caricature in Patricia Highsmith’s Little Tales of Misogyny

While Octavia E. Butler’s Fledgling is Mostly a “Sophisticated” Twilight, One Can At Least Glean That the Vampire/Human Relationship is an Allegory for Slavery

When Fledgling first came out in 2005, it once again put Octavia E. Butler on the map as an author. Capitalizing on the then current zeitgeist of the vampire story (the Twilight series was released on October 5 to Fledgling‘s September 8), Butler’s writing style throughout often smacks of the sentiment, “I need a paycheck.” Its rather on the nose motif of the old guard’s contempt … Continue reading While Octavia E. Butler’s Fledgling is Mostly a “Sophisticated” Twilight, One Can At Least Glean That the Vampire/Human Relationship is an Allegory for Slavery

The NeverEnding Story As Love Letter to the Power of Books

  For anyone who has ever been “swept away” into the narrative of a novel, completely engrossed in its alternate reality, there is no better love letter to the power of books than The NeverEnding Story. Centered on the fringe-existing Bastian (Barret Oliver), a 12-year-old whose mother has recently died, the film’s focus on the ability of books to transport one out of his or … Continue reading The NeverEnding Story As Love Letter to the Power of Books

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s How To Catch A Man, How To Keep A Man, How To Get Rid Of A Man Proves the Once Upon A Time Beauty of Political Incorrectness

There are times when, upon revisiting an old work of literature, the lack of political correctness can make it almost unreadable (e.g. William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew–though it is still immensely watchable in 10 Things I Hate About You form). This is not the case with Zsa Zsa Gabor’s 1970 “guide”/”autobiography,” How To Catch A Man, How To Keep A Man, How To … Continue reading Zsa Zsa Gabor’s How To Catch A Man, How To Keep A Man, How To Get Rid Of A Man Proves the Once Upon A Time Beauty of Political Incorrectness