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 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

We Are the Seams of Everything by Erica Schreiner

We are the seams of everything Like where the tide, for the first time today, rushes onto the land And again And again Again We are the seams of everything We are midnight switching to 12:01am We are the first blaze of fire basting over the horizon And we are the sudden absence of it again We are silence just after a crater hit Oregon … Continue reading We Are the Seams of Everything by Erica Schreiner

Sloane Crosley’s The Clasp: Like A Sequel to The Rules of Attraction

While all of Bret Easton Ellis’ novels apart from American Psycho are either unknown or underlooked by the general public, the influence of his other narratives is evident in everything from Tamas Dobozy’s “Field Recordings” (a Lunar Park style of writing oneself into the story) to Zoolander (Glamorama). Thus, it comes as no shock that Sloane Crosley’s third novel and first work of bona fide … Continue reading Sloane Crosley’s The Clasp: Like A Sequel to The Rules of Attraction

Boy Gone Wilde

On October 16th, what marks Oscar Wilde’s 161st birthday, his distinctive approach to art and life remains a force to be reckoned with. Starting from his first forays into writing, which began during his attendance at Trinity College, Wilde expressed a latent sadness through his humor, as with the poem “Hélas,” in which he laments, “To drift with every passion till my soul/Is a stringed … Continue reading Boy Gone Wilde

The Woman of Rome: A Love Letter to the Oldest Profession

Among the many Italian authors billed as literary powerhouses, there is still, perhaps, no one who can hold a candle to Alberto Moravia. His most epic work, The Woman of Rome, is all the proof one needs of this. Released in 1949, the political undertones that become more prominent as the novel progresses cover the then recent past, a wartime era that tore the nation … Continue reading The Woman of Rome: A Love Letter to the Oldest Profession

Collaboration Innovation: Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth

Valeria Luiselli is something of the gamine manic pixie dream girl of the literary world–aesthetically at least. When it comes to her prose, though, there is so much more beneath the surface of her marketable look. Her second novel, The Story of My Teeth, published by Coffee House Press (who also put out the English translation of her first novel, Faces in the Crowd, and … Continue reading Collaboration Innovation: Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth

Cocaine: The Most Literary Book About Drugs

Most readers consider the literary gods of “drug books” to be Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson. In truth, Italian author Pitigrilli dances circles around all of them in the 1921 novel Cocaine. Born to a Catholic mother and Jewish father in Turin, Italy as Dino Segre, the author culled most of the inspiration for the material in Cocaine from his time … Continue reading Cocaine: The Most Literary Book About Drugs

Bathsheba Everdene & The Predicament of the Attractive Woman in Power

Thomas Hardy has many masterpieces in his oeuvre (Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure are other strong contenders among Hardy’s best), but Far From the Madding Crowd stands out as his most accurate depiction of an attractive woman’s struggle with power. The heroine of the story, Bathsheba Everdene, is confident, proud and very well-aware of the effect she has on men. Over the course … Continue reading Bathsheba Everdene & The Predicament of the Attractive Woman in Power

Toronto, An Abyss of Tim Hortons Cups

There is little negative that can be said of Toronto. It is clean and friendly and everyone seems to possess a marked amount of self-control with regard to sexuality. Perhaps the only trash you’ll ever see on the ground is a paper cup with the Tim Hortons logo on it. I was unaware of who Tim Horton was before setting foot on Canadian soil, but … Continue reading Toronto, An Abyss of Tim Hortons Cups