Every story is a mirror, but the image on the glass is different for every reader. Reflections aims to explore this multiplicity of interpretation in narrative, taking as its foundation common myths, folk-tales and narrative tropes. The thesis that drives the column is that fiction and reality and best distinguished in the language of intent. In other words, in the identification of an aesthetic structure in fiction (driven by authorial intent), and the inherent unpredictability and chaos of reality.
Contributors to the column will be tasked with two challenges. Firstly, they will have to identify a narrative core in the story of their choice. Once this has been accomplished (be it in the form of a character, relationship between characters, or sequence of events), the writer will need to compose the same story again, but this time amplifying the features that stood out to him; re-composing his own 'reflection' if you will.
The choice of myths and folk-tales as a foundation is meant to facilitate the process of identification on the part of the contributor as well as the reader. The rigid constraints, the polishing of the substantive elements of the story over many generations, and the often superficial moral lessons are rife for manipulation.
As with dancers, the movements of each author (i.e., their manipulations of pre-existing content) can be more impactful than any static position they occupy (i.e., the content itself, detached from context).
The form is in French and Hebrew, complicated by the fact that my cousin’s handwriting is dishevelled. My eye is...
The poem is inspired by the tale ‘Tochmarc Étaíne’, meaning ‘The Wooing of Étaín'
Seven hundred years ago, Dante Alighieri died in Ravena. Broadly read and criticized, his Comedy has been – and still is – a sea in which many have ventured to find poetry, philosophy, history and religion. Some, moved by the Italian, attempted their own creations inspired by such waters. Here, two essays and a poem intend to be, if nothing else, a compass for an eventual reader to find his way towards Dante´s work.
Two miniature collections of short stories and a short essay on the theme of animals and humans, written by a human.
Dream Journey is an account of the images that a mind encounters on first waking. It begins with a city walk at night. Before nightfall, there is a strange feeling that the world is neither light nor dark. The noise of the day gives way not to silence, but to the sounds of the night. In the early morning at first light it may seem that the stones come alive. They may appear to move or to speak. Of course it is only the mist of a grey dawn.
The Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoevsky, turns 200 on November 11th. "Dostoevsky is 200” is a quartet of short essays that explores the writer’s understanding of the problems of Russian society and his characterization of human nature. His vision of the human person is so strong and pure that there is much to be learned from reading him.
Through the Lens offers a reflection on photography, memory and identity through essays and poetry. You can expect to encounter Bioy Casares, Manoel de Oliveira, Joaquín Sorolla, Nacho’s friend Simón, as well as others along the way.
Metamorphosis is a meditation on identity, belonging, and love through clothing. The narrator remembers through the kimonos she and her mother wore, and how they are directly linked to her grappling with and understanding of identity and belonging, whether cultural, physical, social, or emotional. Each section integrates reflections by Roland Barthes, Henri Bergson, Marguerite Duras, or Galen Strawson, on clothing, memory, and grief.
This collection of essays investigates the poetic form, the life of poets, familiar streets and places of learning. A journey within the mind, with language and within the world at a moment of transformation. You can expect to meet T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, Hugh MacDiarmid, Sally Purcell, John Wain, John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop and Amanda Gorman along the way...
‘On History’ comprises three critical reflections on the depiction of historical events in cinema, on the role of the historian in the study of history, and on the historical depiction of madness in American literature. Through this collection of essays, join a voyage through history, from the late Stalin and Khrushchev eras, to ‘Hitler’s War,’ and 19th and 20th century America.
December 2030. Tom is a young man intent on saving his older brother, who resides in ‘Dreamland’. Dreamland is a drug house for the rich, hidden underneath Soho Square. No man has ever left Dreamland.
This collection of essays offers a reflection on the decay of empires. From Ancient Greece, to the Roman Empire, to the Aztecs, the story of the fall of ancient civilisations in 'The Muses of October’ provides some insight into contemporary political developments.
'Lockdown Meanderings' offers a critical reflection on some of the effects of the pandemic. This collection of essays and short stories explores the passing of time, the subtle beauty of routines, the importance of storytelling, and the immense joy of seeing people again after lockdown. From Boccacio’s Decameron, to running in Ancona, to the beauty of moka coffee, enjoy a virtual trip to the heart of Italy.
According to Socrates in the Phaedrus, when the Muses were born, song was birthed with them. Some people became so intoxicated with singing that they forgot to eat and drink and so they died. These humans became the Singing Cicadas who sang until they died and then reported to the Muses which humans have honoured them. Chariklia openly admits that she wants the Cicadas to report to the Muses that she has honoured them, so she can give these pieces of writing as offerings.
"When the first words were written it became possible…" This trilogy explores the role of writers and literature, as well as the art of writing; these notebooks filled with possibilities, improbabilities and nonsense. A true manifesto that explains why it matters very much how you say what you say, why nobody can tell you how to write and why the true self is the imaged self.
This collection of essays offers a reflection of life’s place in space and time through the physical environment of three different settings: Space, the arctic, and the jungle. A Chapter in the Book of Existence seek to express the beautiful, finite nature of our planet as it exists in the universe through the lenses of science, human nature, and exploration.
Beethoven was born 250 years ago in December. We do not know his exact birthday, but records show that he was baptized in Bonn on the 17th. 2020 should be a celebration of his intense artistic and unswervingly humanistic musical legacy. “Celebrating Beethoven” looks at four large and well-known works, attempting to identify some ways Beethoven widens his time and his métier into matters relevant to philosophy, romantic spirituality, abstract art and the dawning of modern, personal identity.
Join the odyssey through the voices that one hears while deciphering Eliot’s The Waste Land. Are you hearing the voices? What happens when you don’t quite hear the voices that Eliot wants you to hear? What happens when you do begin to hear the voices? What happens when you mistakenly hear the other voices?
A trip to Chile, exploring its history and present, from Pinochet and the Chicago Boys to O-18 and Covid-19. Notes on political unrest, streets coming to life and creating a new social pact. Interventions by Neruda and references to Bolaño may shine light on the rebellion, or simply provide solace.
A reflection on family legacies and the search for purpose, threaded through with the origins of Italian gelato and the etymology of related words.
Embarking on a journey into the past – from ancient Greece, across the Seine and the Sistine Chapel, to Hollywood and America – this is an exploration of the intricacies of the poetic process, the interaction of poetry with history and philosophy and the uniqueness of different art forms.
Ruminations on the natural cycles of life and death inspired by the bildungsroman of a life companion. The Noki Trilogy, named after the author’s canine companion, builds on casual conversations in the form of three short stories, stimulating all five senses, and exploring the depth and clarity of the perception of loss.
An investigation of the writer’s challenges in accepting reality, the inevitability of change in order to discover the truth and the life of words independent from their writer. This ensemble of short essays proposes a journey across Santiago de Cuba, San Francisco, Cape Ann, Cambridge and Avignon through diary entries.
An exploration of the abstraction of modern thought and its interaction with shared practice. Featuring Boethius, Ortega y Gasset, Marx, Kant and many more, this series of pieces employs both prose and verse to explore the depths of human nature, and the existential impact of creation.
Some thoughts on modern aesthetics and the realm of the affective. From Otto Dix, to a tale of Gustav Mahler and Gustav Klimt, this four-part historical account cum contemporary journey, spells out the intricacies of love, memory and ritual grief.
An anatomy of human connections, their joys and disappointments. A compilation of short stories which investigate the value of conversations in the dark, the disappointments of author pictures, the pleasures of TSA inspection, and provide tips on how to avoid the cold desperation of being lonely, while steering clear from the prickly pain of being with other people.
An exploration of the intricacies of a poetic life, including the experience the artfulness of objects and the desire to shake off automated routines. This collection of essays sheds light on how one’s literary inclinations can guide attention, perception and actions, explains why some words stick, and, satisfies the reader’s pursuit of revelations, settling for a moment of modest epiphany.
Contemplations on mother nature and the elements. These three short personifications of nature as a creative and controlling force affecting humans, explore the motherly qualities of the sea, the wind and the rain. Paintings by the artist accompany the texts and offer a visual voyage from the comfort of your home.