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Category: Book Review

Book Reaction: «Snow Country» by Yasunari Kawabata

Available on The Internet Archive

It was through a thin, smooth skin that man loved. Looking out at the evening mountains, Shimamura felt a sentimental longing for the human skin. (p.111)

The entire book (which I read straight through in an afternoon) is full off beautifully gossamer prose like the above quote.

The novel takes place almost exclusively in a small town in "Snow Country," an area in the northwest of Japan's main island Honshu. We follow the relationship between Shimamura, a wealthy "idler" from Tokyo, and a geisha in this town. Wealthy man falls in love with sex worker. A commo...

Book Review: «Island of a Thousand Mirrors» by Nayomi Munaweera

"Tropical" by Julia happymiaow is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

 

Read this before you read the book or the review: "Bad Atrocity Writing." Bruce Robbin. N+1

Reflections on Well-Used Mirrors

Once again, I am here reviewing a book in a write-up that is only partly a review. Rather, this is an exploration of certain themes present in Munaweera’s novel, particularly around the writing of violence. I will, however, begin with a quick review of my feelings towards the book, before delving deeper into the issue of writing violence.

For those interested in a review of the story, there is a GoodReads he...

Future Capture Vol.I: The Present Precedent

«The Value of Everything» Mariana Mazzucato


World Bank. 2019. International Debt Statistics 2020. Washington, DC: World Bank. doi:10.1596/978-1-4648-1461-7. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO. pp 161.

Re-Introduction

I admit it has been...more than a few months since I finished reading Mazzucato's masterful 2018 work The Value of Everything,1 and even longer since I announced the start of this project here on this blog. That was back when I was young and full of verve. In terms of the global structure of, well, everything, we can say that not much has changed since the book w...

The Delicious Monte Cristo

Count

The Count, from one of the film renditions of Dumas' Novel. The book, although less sultry, is definitely just as pleasing.

On the Count of 'Monte Cristo'

I wandered upon «The Count of Monte Cristo» somewhat by accident. The title was familiar to me only in passing--I was under the impression it was an Italian story from the early Modern era (whenver that is, my gut had vague whisperings about the 1700s). Reader, I will announce with no shame that I was entirely wrong on both accounts! Horribly, horribly wrong.

The story was serialized by French author Alexander Dumas, and published in the Fr...

Book Review: «Carceral Capitalism» by Jackie Wang

Clocking in at just 232 3 x 5 inch pages, Jackie Wang’s treatise on the United States’ prison apparatus is vastly more thorough and detailed than works three times its length. Wang, who began the project as far too many Americans do—by losing a loved one to a predatory “justice” system—lays out a tireless case for the abolition of prisons in America, and provides some of the most cogent and comprehensive analysis for our current “post-capitalist,” post-2008 position.1

Wang expertly lays out and then proceeds through a strip-search of the lurching, 1033-fueled machine that turns human sufferin...

Book Review: «America Is Not The Heart» by Elaine Castillo

castillo.jpg

There every so often comes along one of those books that you read, and then, after finishing it, realize it was so perfectly the story you didn’t even know you were looking for.

So it was for me as I “finished” reading Elaine Castillo’s «America Is Not The Heart», about a Filipino family living in the South Bay area in a present-day America. “Finished,” for while my eyes left the page, the landscape and terrain of the story and the characters remain in my mind.

I don’t remember where I saw the title mentioned before I bought it–a day after it hit the shelves at my local new bookseller. After ...

The Conditions of Splitting the Rainbow | Book Review: «The Future of Whiteness» by Linda Martín Alcoff

Like many whites, I did not come to realize I was “raced,” or white, in the same way that that a non-white child would have. That is, I was not brought up to know that I was, in the systems I moved through, living under the aegis of whiteness. Of course, I knew that I was the palest kid all throughout elementary and middle school—often one of only a handful of white kids in the Denver Public School system classroom, where whites account for less than a quarter of the districts population, and nearly seventy percent qualify for free or reduced lunch.1 Until we moved to Washington before I began...