Problematic Faves: Grinding Nemo Addition

Written by Annie Diamond

H.P Lovecraft is best known for his contribution to horror fiction, especially with his creation of an eldritch mythos which is the origination of Cthulhu. His writing delved deep into the aesthetics of the alien (featuring non-Euclidean geometry) as well as themes of unknowable knowledge and the inevitable decline of man. Lovecraft’s legacy is vast—influencing everything from the literary (Joyce Carol Oates mentions him as an influence in the horror short story and Borges dedicated a story to him) to the more pop-culture-y (Batman’s Arkham Asylum is a Lovecraft reference; there’s a Lovecraft tabletop roleplaying game; and the Mountain Goats wrote a song about him.) His works might soon reach an even bigger audience as Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Torro cites Lovecraft as a huge influence, and has been trying to make an At the Mountains of Madness movie for years.

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Korean Thriller Novels on the Rise: Overturning the Scandinavian Reign

Written by Kiran Gokal

With the phenomenon of Oldboy and the recent popularity of Train to Busan, Korean cinema has established its position high in the crime thriller genre, creating a new generation of widely praised films. When I think of Korean thriller films, I think of action-packed films balanced with drama, comedy, and beautifully crafted, complex characters, in a way that is quite rare in Hollywood films. Simply just acknowledging the popularity of Korean thriller films, it’s no surprise that Korean thriller novels are also on the rise and aiming high. In her article in The Guardian, Alison Flood discusses a particular Korean novelist by the name of Un-Su Kim whose recent novel The Plotters was subject to a grand auction in the US and landed a six-figure sum. Korean thriller novels, it seems, have been caught in a wave of interest in recent years. This fact was strengthened by the praise and popularity following Han Kang’s novel The Vegetarian that sparked a flare of interest into the country’s literature.

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Barnes and Noble Begins a Nationwide Book Club

Written by Andi Feddeler

Barnes and Noble is one of the happiest places someone who loves books can go. It may not be as homey as local bookstores, or have as wide a selection of nonfiction as the libraries on college campuses, but it’s pretty great for anything and everything else. The wide selection, not only of books, but of games, stationery, magazines, and activity books, is astounding. Taking a trip to B&N is an exercise in self-control (at least for me).

There are already plenty of reasons to visit Barnes and Noble, but if you were looking for one more, here it is in two words: Book. Club. The Barnes and Noble Nationwide Book Club is starting up May 2, 2018, and the first book on the list is The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer. This coming-of-age tale is perfect for almost any reader, but especially those who are looking for a strong and powerful female lead. It is a self-proclaimed feminist novel and an active analysis of female ambition—perfect for reading with a group.

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Jennifer Egan Champions Freedom of Expression as the New President of PEN America

Written by Katie Martinez

According to Publishers Weekly, PEN America recently announced that Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer Jennifer Egan will be the new president of the organization. Egan will be taking over the position after Andrew Solomon, who has served as the organization’s president for the past three years.

For more than nine decades, PEN America, as a center for PEN International, has advocated for and protected the writer’s freedom of expression; it consists of impressive networks of novelists, editors, publishers, and many others. Working at the “intersection of literature and human rights,” PEN centers work to support persecuted writers and promote literary culture through programs such as their Free Expression Program, the Prison Writing Program, and others like the PEN Writer’s Fund, which provides financial assistance for professionally published writers and editors who need it.

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The Woman’s Decision between Artist and Muse

Written by Angie Carrera

The debate about whether a woman can serve to be both artist and muse first emerged during the world wars, and consequently thrives today as a theory that is constantly being put to the test. Regina Marler wrote about the many women in the surrealist movement (including Leonora Carrington, pictured above) that were facing constant struggle between the worlds of muse and artistry. In her piece, she notes that while it is possible for women to be both muse and artist, the preferred of the two was a resounding “yes” to artistry as women began to develop their own views and voices as artists.

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Where My Bookshelf and Spotify Collide

Written by Katelyn Connolly

In the LitHub article “11 Pop Songs for Literary People,” Emily Temple jokes about the interlocking prestige of books and songs. There’s definitely some truth to that. When you see a person reading a book you like, you probably get pretty curious about what’s blasting through their headphones, and vice versa. But the link between literature and music runs deeper than their utility as indicators of status or social group. Here are a few of the links I’ve contemplated while reading and listening, though by no means does this list cover every literary meaning in music.

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Tracking Witches from the Forest to the Home: Bewitched and the Fairy Tales Grimm

Written by Carolina Eleni Theodoropoulos

The realm of magic was always governed by women. Women are nymphs, they are jealous goddesses; they are lustful and vengeful monsters like Medusa, and dangerous women yielding destructive power like Pandora. In fairy tales they are witches, they are crones, they are evil stepmothers and hags. The norm in history and in the literature seems to be that magical women are to be burned, contained—but what happens when they resist?

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American Shakespeare Center’s Macbeth: A Review

Written by Kylie Warkentin

While I stood in line on the night of February 28th waiting to be let into Hogg Auditorium for the American Shakespeare Center’s performance of Macbeth, Dr. Cullingford, a University Distinguished Teaching Professor and the Chair of the English Department, luxuriously slinked down the line asking after her Oxford Program students. As her sharp figure sweeped past, I thought to myself: Yeah, she’d make a pretty great Lady Macbeth.

For the uninitiated (as I was, at least until I was forcibly made aware), the American Shakespeare Center is unique for its dedication to an authentic Shakespearean experience. Put flippantly (and in their own words), they “do it with the lights on:” the entire play is performed under universal lighting in an effort to mimic the lighting conditions of Shakespeare’s time, thus allowing the actors on stage to engage with the audience in an unique way. Additionally, before, during, and after the play, the actors perform music, as the actors in Shakespeare’s troupe would have done.

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The Economics and Humanity of Instagram Poetry

Written by Caitlin Smith

Love her or hate, her, Rupi Kaur’s impact on the poetry world is undeniable. When first starting out, Kaur only posted to her Instagram account, but now has two published books under her belt: Milk and Honey (2015) and The Sun and Her Flowers (2017). Her poetry has sparked controversy among literary critics and everyday readers alike. One Buzzfeed article even claimed that her poetry, which aims to shed light upon South Asian issues, feels “disingenuous.” That hasn’t stopped her second book from selling over 600,000 copies, though.

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