Posts Tagged: Flavorwire

Not Even Rumi is Safe from Hollywood Whitewashing

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One of the world’s most read and beloved poets since the 13th century, and an immensely important artistic, academic, and spiritual figure in the Muslim community, is getting his own movie. So who is going to take on the leading role of Rumi, whose poems about love, faith, and spirituality have guided generations?

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Power Ballards

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If you could bring one J.G. Ballard novel to a deserted island, what would it be? Although the film adaptations of Crash and the upcoming High-Rise might make those popular choices, Jason Guriel argues that Concrete Island deserves to be your top pick:

As speculative fiction goes, this is sophisticated stuff; rather than imagine some fascist, post-apocalyptic society…Ballard discovered the plausible dystopia in plain sight: a concrete, postwar London in which the marginalized populate literal margins, those ruled lines where city-planning comes to an abrupt stop.

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Maybe-True, Half-Hearted Hemingway in Havana

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Papa: Hemingway in Cuba is a recently released film from director Bob Yari following the maybe-true misadventures of the late Hemingway and his years in Cuba, where he lived, drank, and complained after winning the Nobel Prize for fiction. A young author travels to Havana to learn from his literary idol and a tortured bro-mance blossoms with the Cuban revolution stirring in the background.

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12 Lol-Worthy Gifs That Will Recuperate Feminist Praxis

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Bitch is where many of today’s feminist internet denizens (yours truly included) got our start reading and writing about culture with a critical eye. In many ways, Zeisler’s book is a call to arms, asking us to return to a rigorous, systemic analysis.

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Eating at the Table of Another

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The critic giveth and he taketh away. In his review of Better Living Through Criticism, Jonathon Sturgeon counters A.O. Scott’s aversion to the idea of the critic as parasite:

Maybe the loneliness of the American critic stems from his obsession with freeing minds, which quickly become isolated monads.

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Where We’ve Been

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It’s hard to enjoy reading Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time when the stack of books on your bedside table keeps reminding you of all the cultural capital you have yet to consume. Flavorwire’s Sarah Seltzer wonders why we stop re-reading our favorite books as we get older:

I’ve come to understand that I’ll rarely experience that first rush of discovery again, and perhaps that’s the problem with re-reading.

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The Joy of Knausgaard

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For Flavorwire, Jonathon Sturgeon works to define “contemporary” literature and wonders where Karl Knausgaard’s My Struggle fits into the mix. What he ultimately argues is that contemporary literature is often “project based,” and that Knausgaard’s self-exploratory novel is the most definitive example of this kind of work in recent times:

Not only does the title My Struggle claim for Knausgaard the agency to define his own project, it also points to the audacity of its own belatedness.

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Nightwalking with Dickens

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Long walks are among the most common creative practices, we’re told, for writers from a certain era: Wordsworth, Thoreau, and Blake come quickly to mind. Matthew Beaumont’s new Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London from Verso is a treasure trove of stories about these ambulating authors, and Flavorwire has a piece about how walking after dark influenced the writing of Charles Dickens in particular.

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Check Your Magic

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Muggle-born students of Hogwarts are an underprivileged class, while magic-born students enjoy unquantified privilege, argues Sarah Seltzer over at Flavorwire. Rowling creates a world where privilege and power are coupled together, just as wealth and race have allowed certain classes greater access to power in the real world:

Rowling isn’t arguing that a wand is directly comparable to a tennis racket but instead making the point that magic (like certain kinds of privilege) is a form of power, one that can be used for both evil and good.

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Like Whatever

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Art is problematic. Humans are problematic. Roxane Gay is a bad feminist. We know this, yet still we attack each other for liking Lil Wayne or Fifty Shades of Grey. Flavorwire‘s Sarah Seltzer wants us to stop telling women what they can and can’t like:

I wouldn’t abandon the practice of critiquing art for its political stance…But what I won’t say is: you’re a bad feminist if you like [Philip] Roth.

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BFFs in Elena Ferrante Novels

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The literary idea that friends’ lives represent unmade choices, roads not taken, is applicable across gender and genre. Naturally, however, it has a particular resonance for women, because so many of life’s choices have particular resonance for women. Whether in 2015 United States or in postwar, pre-feminist Italy, women still feel like they have to lean in the direction of either family or career, creative fulfillment or economic necessity.

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The Other Brontë Girl

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She was the Khloé Kardashian of nineteenth century literature, the Michelle Williams of her girl group, her family’s invisible Zeppo Marx. Over at Flavorwire, Sarah Seltzer makes a case for the Brontë sisters’ own personal Ringo:

Nothing sums up her relationship to her sister’s work better than the Hark, a Vagrant comic called “Dude Watching with the Brontës,” which features Emily and Charlotte gazing adoringly at “Byronic heroes” as they walk by while Anne shakes her head like they’re crazy and calls the guys alcoholic dickbags and assholes.

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