Mere Christianity: A Recommendation

Written by Kevin LaTorre

It’s nearly impossible to imagine the nightly drone of planes overhead, each one loaded with screeching, fiery destruction. Harder still would be imagining the terror of your family and neighbors in the cramped dimness of bomb shelters. These harrowing circumstances were the plight of British citizens during the German air raids of 1941. These were also the nights that C. S. Lewis, chiefly known today for writing the tales of Narnia, spoke over the radio to a populace on the brink. He had one objective: the explanation of Christian beliefs.

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Book Snobs, Let’s Not Kid Ourselves

Written by Kevin LaTorre

Perhaps there has never been a clique so easily bruised—and eager to bruise—as writers. A recent article from Literary Hub’s Book Marks, “When Celebrities Write Novels,” inspired today’s musing indictment. The piece lists some novels from A-list celebrities, and includes works from Bob Dylan, Carrie Fisher, Steve Martin, and James Franco. Withholding their own opinions, Literary Hub instead attaches review excerpts to each book, so the unfamiliar receive a quick critical taste. The article was triggered by Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, the novel from actor/journalist/human cigarette/activist Sean Penn, and so I dive down this rabbit hole in his honor. Thanks a ton, Mr. Penn. Truly, I haven’t been so intrigued, confused, and unsettled since your escapade with El Chapo.

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Why Writers Can’t Write Alike

Written by Kevin LaTorre

Without a doubt, one of the most mythologized aspects of celebrities today is the strangeness of their preparations. On the basketball court, Michael Jordan slipped into his Tar Heels shorts, and Bill Russell vomited into his toilet bowl. On the ice, Alex Ovechkin made sure to, well, properly relax before and after his hockey games. The quirks of athletes, meant to induce the right mindset for the competition, strike the average person as bizarre. But the daily schedules of writers are no different. Readers marvel at the various oddities of these creatives, and in time, mythologize the myth-makers. Whether writers work early or late, sober or not, readers will always be intrigued by their days’ meticulous arrangements. Why? These men and women have found gold at the end of their constructed rainbows. We, as good little checkers-of-boxes, want to know what it took to climb the dazzling colors. As if it were only a hop, skip, and jump.

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Why Musicals Can’t Keep Their Hands Off of Literature

Written by Kevin LaTorre

Sunday afternoon in the B. Iden Payne Theatre, UT’s Theatre and Dance Department closed The Drowsy Chaperone, its farcical tribute to musical theatre. To the south, across the bridge, the ZACH Theatre continues its run of the musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol until December 31. Live musicals are enduring flights of fancy for theatregoers, as the continued vibrancy of the theatre scenes in Austin, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London can attest. These days, with the end of the semester nigh, and the holidays just around the corner, I’m feeling a little more reflective than usual. I’m even dreaming of a white Christmas (for one brief Thursday night only!). So, sifting through the long-standing connection between literature and musicals seems appropriate, and finding any explanation may satisfy both my curiosity and procrastination.

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The Good News About Cutting Up Literature for Jewelry

Written by Kevin LaTorre

I ought to begin with a disclaimer: I don’t wear jewelry. I can’t wax anything poetic about the shine or curvature of a particular jewel. Now that I’ve admitted I am unfamiliar with both wearing jewelry and speaking its parlance, I can check that pesky honesty-even-if-it’s-damaging box and proceed.

The paper art of British artist Jeremy May was a strange find online. Seeing the rings, necklaces and earrings that May has been exhibiting the last few years instantly communicated a sense of violation. I don’t usually recoil from quaint articles about artsy endeavors, and yet here I wanted to close the browser.

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