In her recent book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, Kate Manne offers a framework for understanding how misogyny operates in contemporary Western societies, and a vocabulary (‘himpathy’, ‘herasure’) for discussing some of its more insidious aspects. Drawing on recent
1) Nightwood by Djuna Barnes Published in 1936, Nightwood is a haze of alcohol, glamour, sex, and love in all its desperate, unconventional, and painful forms. It tells the story of the mesmerising Robin Vote, who leaves a trail of cigarette ends and
The Noise of Time is a fictionalised biography of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, and his fate as a composer living under Stalinist rule. The major themes of this book, as we might expect, are the relationship between art and
A parentless gypsy of fifteen or sixteen, Esmeralda captures the interest of four very different admirers. There is the philosopher Pierre Gringoire, the playboy Captain Phoebus, the repressed archdeacon Claude Frollo, and the eponymous hunchback, Quasimodo. These admirers, though individually very different, fall
Charlotte Salomon was a German-born Jewish artist of significant achievement and greater promise but aged just 26, and pregnant with her first child, she died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. The crowning achievement of Charlotte’s tragically short life, Leben?
Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle is perhaps his most controversial work. It is difficult to get to grips with ideologically and to follow through the twists and turns of its reasoning. This post offers a simple explanation of Freud’s key ideas.
Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is often used as an example of a work astride two movements: modernism and postmodernism. It was written in 1955 when modernism was experiencing something of a revival in the wake of the Second World
In his 1919 essay of the same title, Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud defines das unheimliche (‘the uncanny’) as, ‘that class of frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar.’ His original essay relies on the etymology of the
First Performed Plays First Printed 1590-91 Henry VI, Part II 1594? 1590-91 Henry VI, Part III 1594? 1591-92 Henry VI, Part I 1623 1592-93 Richard III 1597 1592-93 Comedy of Errors 1623 1593-94 Titus Andronicus 1594 1593-94 Taming of the
The Daemon Knows is an exploration of what Bloom calls the “American sublime”: that class of literature that reaches beyond the human, in a way that is distinctly American. What is beyond the human falls, by Bloom’s estimation, into three