[A beautiful image: Florence (Saoirse Ronan) sitting along a stretch of beach on a rotten rowboat, entirely alone; as the camera pans back, Edward (Billy Howle) slowly approaches — in another shot, he is strikingly turned away. More striking, is the quiet dignity in Florence’s face…]
I had trepidation going to see On Chesil Beach. Despite the dire turn McEwan has taken in recent years regarding his literary output, On Chesil Beach is one of my favourite books I’ve read over the past few years. An extraordinarily concise, contained novella depicting a couple on their wedding night, on the *brink* of the sexual revolution of the 60s, who lack the very vocabulary to describe how they feel, how they urge (or don’t) and how to save themselves, their relationship and one another. I fretted awfully, a white wine in hand, that the very insular nature of the novel would be lost somehow in this film adaptation, directed by Dominic Cooke.
Continue reading “Some thoughts on ‘On Chesil Beach’”
Sophie Collins, Who Is Mary Sue? (Faber £10.99)
“- Your breath smells like peaches.
– Can you give me something for the pain?” — from ‘Eight Phrases’
Who Is Mary Sue? is haunted by countless figures; a nameless female writer; the eponymous O from Réage’s Story of O, ‘Mary Sue’ herself, even nothingness (in the plenty blank pages that abound, poor trees) to name a few. The book, Collins’ debut, features poems ranging from minute lyrics, extensive prose poems to found poems/reportage lifted from interviews. The spine of the text lies in the ways Collins grapples with the term ‘Mary Sue’, I quote:
“Coined by Paula Smith in 1973, ’Mary Sue’ is a pejorative term used by writers and readers of fan fiction to describe protagonists who are believed to be thinly disguised versions of the fan fic author’s idealised self.
Continue reading “Review — Fan-Poetry/Fic: Who Is Mary Sue?”
A brief post / discovery I made over the past couple of days, and how it’s, strangely for me anyway, bringing me more equanimity at night.
Max Richter (composer I hold near and dear) recently released a night-long album; Richter’s personal lullaby for a frenetic world as he self-describes. A lullaby indeed, but one that doesn’t stop throughout the night (a thought I find lovely, less so you, maybe, depending on how light a sleeper you are).
Continue reading “Help With Sleeping”
“This is a true story.”
Sink or Swim written by Jonathan M. Daley, enjoyed a three day run in Accidental Theatre, Belfast from the 22-24th March. The show was produced as the inaugural venture by Headrush, Ireland, a newly forged group of creatives that have set up a spring board to create ripples through the theatre scene in Ireland (and beyond!).
Continue reading “Review – ‘Sink or Swim’”
“Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk
One paints the beginning
of a certain end.
The other, the end of a
sure beginning.” — from Passing Time by Maya Angelou
Today marked the final day of classes (assuming-strike-continuing) in my undergraduate career. Very exciting! Somewhat scary, largely feeling thrown unto the pale, but I’m feeling a positive tone seeping before this post is written so let’s keep along that current.
All that stands between all of us final years and the gaping abyss is a few essays, a few booky projects (which I am SO excited for) a dissertation, maybe?
Continue reading “Passing Time”
My favourite drag performer needs some time, and they should take all the time they need. Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova (Екатерина Петро́вна Замоло́дчикова), the stage name of Brian McCook, recently took to social media to tell how they plan to take time off and postpone their extensive tour schedule; anyone who is familiar with Katya even superficially could surmise in the 3+ years since her first season on RuPaul’s Drag Race she’s been flat to the mat (to use the colloquial term).
Continue reading “Dehumanising the Drag Performer”
For those who aren’t bracingly familiar, QUB recently shifted the academic structure so that all assignments are due in the twelfth week of teaching rather than after the Christmas period. This resulted in an accumulating of things; most strikingly visualised in student stress and anxiety, trying to dual wield preparing for a week’s worth of classes and also researching and executing our own essays. As such, students began to drop off in classes because they physically couldn’t manage the combined workload. It came to a point where I had to email a tutor and ask if I could miss a seminar because it wasn’t within the critical field of my own research interests, in favour of library time. While I think students do right to focus on their own work and incrementally reduce their own stresses, I feel it is criminal to enforce a structure that essentially necessitates students miss classes (that they are paying massive money for!).
Continue reading “Academic Restructuring: A Reproach of QUB’s Administration”