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Category: Arts and Culture

Do you know what you’re reading this summer?

Do you know what you’re reading this summer?

Who wants to read?! Not you, probably, as you slog through to the last stretch before finals. And I get it, you’ve read hundreds of pages of theory, history, literature, science, etc., and if you’re a humanities major you’ve probably read more Freud than you think should be legal under the Geneva Convention. But whether you believe in it or not, there is life after finals and a whole summer stretched before you. Maybe you have an internship, a summer…

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Humor in George Saunders’ mock letter, “I can speak!™”

Humor in George Saunders’ mock letter, “I can speak!™”

In honor of George Saunders’ lecture at Vassar this past week (which I found mostly quite funny), I am going to look at how humor works in one of his short works, “I can speak!™” “I can speak!™” is pseudo company-to-consumer letter in which Rick Sminks, product service representative at KidLuv Inc. writes to Mrs. Faniglia to express regret regarding her disappointment in their product. The reader soon finds out that this product is essentially a mini-robot in the form…

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Considering Cultural Norms As Portrayed in Films

Considering Cultural Norms As Portrayed in Films

Happy first weeks of the semester! I hope you are all doing well, staying warm, and drinking lots of tea (or whatever you prefer to eat/drink to be cozy). Recently, I have been thinking about how art reflects cultural values, and how the audience is affected by these values whether they are aware of it or not. This is true of almost any work of art: even when people state that a piece of art “reflects a universal truth,” there…

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Critically Rewatching Gilmore Girls

Critically Rewatching Gilmore Girls

I. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Dick Cavett expressed his appreciation for rereading. According to the author and former talk show host, “We’d all have been better off to have read half as many books. Twice.” I’m inclined to agree with Cavett – at least in part because I had to visit dictionary.com multiple times to decipher his interview, and I tend to look upon those with robust vocabularies with an oft-inappropriate level of reverence. I…

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Reading as a Reader Versus Reading as a Writer

Reading as a Reader Versus Reading as a Writer

In this post, I had intended to write my reflections on Nabokov’s “Transparent Things,” which I started reading over fall break. However, I found myself first analyzing the structure, wordplay, and characters without giving myself time to simply enjoy the novel. And, I want to enjoy the novel—like most of Nabokov’s work, it is witty and bizarre, and provides a truly fun reading experience. Furthermore, as a writer, I consider Nabokov one of my creative muses, but I always prefer…

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Summer Arts Review: Sorolla, Richard Wright, and Nicolas Vanier

Summer Arts Review: Sorolla, Richard Wright, and Nicolas Vanier

Hello all! Happy September, and for those of you at Vassar, happy first week of school. My name is Natalie, and I am a new writer for The Miscellany News’ “Main Circle.” I am excited to contribute as an Arts and Culture blogger this year. In this post, I would like to introduce myself, and discuss and recommend a few works of art that I experienced (saw/read/watched), and that struck me, during the summer. I have always been a lover…

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