california belongs to joan didion

For a writer to take ownership of a place, to stake out their position in its liminal spaces, they perpetuate their vision into art and popular culture, and in turn, our collective memory. When we read we are unrelentingly challenged to deconstruct writers' visions and how they shape our perspectives of familiar places. Together, as…

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poetry as untranslatable: gloria anzaldúa on straddling dual identity

"borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them"The Chicano movement - the extension of Mexican American civil rights movement during the 1940s and 60s - was a movement of working-class Americans born of a cultural and racial 'mixture' across the southern borders of the US,…

isolation, conflict and constraint: the coherency of jean rhys’ short stories

20th-century novelist Jean Rhys compels readers with her mesmerising narratives of exile, loneliness and distorting what it means to be a flâneur. As born and raised in Dominica with European ancestry, Rhys' writing speaks closely to her own upbringing and the complexities of her identity, accounts of being isolated and witnessing isolation in others. The…

synecdoche, new love: modern couples exhibition review

'Modern Couples presents a different way of looking at Modernism in art, as seen through the artist 'couple', an elastic term encompassing all manner of intimate relationships that the artists themselves grappled with, expanded, embraced or refuted.' - Exhibition Guide Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde is the newest exhibition at the Barbican Centre. Organised…

looking on at robert frank’s ‘the americans’

Ed Ruscha writes "[Frank's] achievement could not be imitated in any way, because he had already done it, sewn it up and gone home. What [he] was left with was the vapors of his talent. I had to make my own kind of art. But wow! The Americans!" Robert Frank's 'The Americans', published in 1958, was…

language we wear: our controlled displays of identity

        It would be imposing and reductive to suggest identity is a word with a constant definition, one that is the same in every situation for every person. So for this article, I will focus on the identity game of reading books/wearing slogan t-shirts in public and what this can reveal about…

demystifying james joyce’s ulysses

James Joyce's modernist epic follows Leopold Bloom around public and private spaces of Dublin over the course of one day; as he eats, drinks, wanders, masturbates, watches and interacts with others. It was published in full during 1922, the same year that the poem that sought to define 20th-century anxiety (T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land)…