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Tag Archives: Criticism

How to Hold Multiple Truths to be Self-Evident: Late Thoughts After the Women's March

On January 22, I drove back from Washington, D.C. The day before, I’d been one of the 500,000 that filled out Independence Avenue, one of the specks in those awe-inspiring aerial shots that plastered the news. I’d been cold and hungry and dehydrated and I had not felt any of that discomfort until I sat down for dinner later that night and nearly wept at the sensation of sinking into a seat.

The Hidden Objective Narrator in Andrea Barrett’s “The Littoral Zone”

The uninflected prose of an objective narrator has seemingly declined in contemporary literature in favor of the “voicier” POVs such as first person, second person, or third person close. We are told that reflecting characters’ personalities in the language—such as by collapsing the distance between the way they speak and the way the story is narrated—is a good thing.

Gustave Doré & Skewed Perspective

* Jeremy Allan Hawkins *

During his lifetime, a gallery was dedicated to Gustave Doré’s work in London, he was photographed by the one and only Nadar, and when he died at the age of 51, he was interred in Paris’s famous Cimetière du Père Lachaise. To posterity, one expert claims he left over one hundred thousand individual works, while even a conservative estimate puts it at over eleven thousand. That body of work has, in turn, been responsible for influencing countless illustrators—perhaps even inspiring our earliest comic books—and establishing visual tropes that still appear today in print and cinematic forms. There is no question that Doré sought to establish his legacy with a singular determination, and he succeeded in many ways, yet his greatest work may also be his most significant failure.

Gustave Doré & Skewed Perspective

* Jeremy Allan Hawkins *

During his lifetime, a gallery was dedicated to Gustave Doré’s work in London, he was photographed by the one and only Nadar, and when he died at the age of 51, he was interred in Paris’s famous Cimetière du Père Lachaise. To posterity, one expert claims he left over one hundred thousand individual works, while even a conservative estimate puts it at over eleven thousand. That body of work has, in turn, been responsible for influencing countless illustrators—perhaps even inspiring our earliest comic books—and establishing visual tropes that still appear today in print and cinematic forms. There is no question that Doré sought to establish his legacy with a singular determination, and he succeeded in many ways, yet his greatest work may also be his most significant failure.

Black Square

* Nicholas Johnson * That I cannot remember the first time I saw Gillian Carnegie’s Black Square is a testament to its creeping, subtle complexity. It is a simple painting to describe: a monochrome black square of canvas just under two meters. Hidden in the black is a landscape delineated only by variations in brushwork, which means it is an extremely difficult painting to photograph. The first time I saw Black Square was in a photograph, a jpeg on the internet, and it wasn’t until this past summer that I was able to see it on a wall, in the flesh, at the Tate in London during their ‘Looking at the View’ exhibition (2013).