Category

Issue Three

April 17th, 2012

I

The Civil Side of Genocide: Powell’s Barbaric Civilization

T

Reviewed in this essay:  Christopher Powell, Barbaric Civilization: a Critical Sociology of Genocide, McGill-Queens University Press, 2011. What does calling someone a monster accomplish?  At a recent human rights panel I attended, a scholar described a series of personal interviews he’d conducted with a group of war criminals—men who had brutally tortured and killed numerous people.  He...

How Faber’s App Rescues Eliot’s Masterpiece from the Waste Land of Print

H

Reviewed in this essay: T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land for iPad. Faber and Touch Press, 2011. Listen to the author read this piece: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. It is difficult to describe the shock I experienced this summer on receiving an email...

Darwinian Wonder

D

Listen to the author read this piece:  Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.   “Cultivate a superiority to reason, and see how you pare the claws of all the sensible people when they try to scratch you for your own good!” ~Wilkie Collins, The...

SPRING: A Poem

S

Listen to the author read this poem:  Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. (i) You visit each day in a different dress, a clear umbrella for the rain. Coffees. And one day this week, with a daisy whose stem you sawed with a kitchen knife    ...

Disappearing Bookstores: a Letter from Sweden, Toronto, and Iran

D

I returned to Toronto in May 2010 as a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto. When I find Sweden (where I am resident) uninhabitable, and Iran (where I was born) too dangerous, I take refuge in Toronto, undoubtedly, the most ethnically diverse city in the world. I rented a suite on the southern fringe of the University campus, close to the Art Galley of Ontario. The day after I arrived...

The World’s Greatest Art Museum is in Hobart, Tasmania

T

Reviewed in this essay: Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania. Listen to the author read this piece:  Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Visit the permanent collection of any national art museum and you will likely find an Impressionist...

Trombone Shorty and the Three Jazzes

T

Listen to the author read this piece:  Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. In December 2011, Downbeat magazine awarded Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew “Historical Jazz Album of the Year.” What kind of tradition creates an award “of this year” for something...

On “Combative Love”: Q and A with Helen Oyeyemi

O

Helen Oyeyemi’s fourth novel, Mr. Fox, turns a critical eye on literature’s fascination with menacing heroes and imperiled women.  The book takes its name from the fairytale of Mr. Fox, a variant of the Bluebeard story: Lady Mary famously discovers that Mr. Fox, her betrothed, keeps “a room filled with bodies and skeletons of poor dead women, all stained with their blood.”  This...

Ask Me Anything: How Reddit Perfected the Message Board

A

Reviewed in this essay: reddit.com‘s AMAs (Ask Me Anything). Buried somewhere under Web 2.0’s endless “personal branding” astroturf, under the rubble of busted dot-com shell companies, and under the dense bedrock of pornography, there lies net utopianism. But all is not lost. If McLuhan were around today and needed new grounds for optimistic futurism, here’s where to point him: reddit’s...

Short Forms: When Social Media and Short Fiction Intersect

S

Listen to the author read this piece:  Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.   When my short story “Jenna on Twitter” was published by Joyland Magazine last year, I was pretty pleased with myself. It’s a story about a woman with a...

Old Codes for Modern Woes: The 2012 Old Farmer’s Almanac

O

Reviewed in this essay: Robert Thomas, 2012 Old Farmer’s Almanac, Thomas Allen, 2011. Listen to the author read this piece:  Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Every fall in supermarkets across North America The Old Farmer’s Almanac appears at...