I turn fifty this year—a distinction I share with The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the famed Summer of Love… and the Six Day War that brought victory to the state of Israel and began the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights that continues down to this day. Sgt. Pepper holds up well enough, but most fans now prefer Revolver or Rubber Soul; the Summer of Love very quickly turned to the Winter of Discontent in 1968; the Occupation sadly remains the same, a seemingly perpetual trap for both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
Things to Do when You’re Goth in the Country, opts for a much wider canvas, centering (with one interesting exception) on a broader range of Midwest types, from young lesbians dropping acid in St. Louis to a set of church matrons discussing church business to a jailed, addled druggie musing on blood in the sky.
Sarah Van Gelder reminds me of myself when she starts her book, The Revolution Where You Live: Stories From A 12,000 Mile Journey Through A New America. When she was seven, her father took his family along on exchange to a university at Andra Prades, India. While there, she formulated some questions that I also pondered in my early years: “Why do we tolerate so much suffering?
Swing Time, the fifth novel from Zadie Smith, is a novel about little girls and the women they become; it’s about racial and class divides, but more importantly, friendship. Smith tackles big, complicated themes in this work
Like that other Bible, the Holy one, if you suspend your disbelief (in the banality of modern art) you can open this book to any page and find inspiration. As for being ‘Outlaw,’ now that our elites are illiterate, how long before ‘outlaw book’ is a redundancy?
In order to gain a sense of order and existential clarity, people often look for comfort and certainty by putting themselves in exotic or geographical distances. Traveling, for example, is one of those activities that cultivates and educates, and it seems that everyone wants to do it.
It seems that the real story of the modern and contemporary culture (arts and letters) in Iran starts somewhere in the second decade of the 20th century, more precisely in 1925 when Reza Khan took over the royal throne from the ancient Ahmad Shah of the Qadjar dynasty.