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Greek Theatre: Staging Madness and Democracy


In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates declared that “madness which is a divine gift [. . .] conferred great benefits on Hellas”. One of those great benefits was theatre, for ancient Greece has always been hailed the mother of both Democracy and Theatre. During the 5th century BC, Athens embarked on a …

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The Life of Valdimir Nabokov


“Please tell your son that he will never be a writer” (Vladimir Nabokov and Some Poets of Russian Modernism). This prophecy, supposedly made by a distinguished Russian poet to Vladimir Nabokov’s father, proved to be quite a short-sighted condemnation of the young Russian-born author. Nabokov went on to become one of …

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Darkness Within: An Overview of Achebe’s Critique of Heart of Darkness


Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, demolishes the premise of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, proclaiming that the latter is a “thoroughgoing racist.” (Achebe 1789) In his essay, “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness,” Achebe violently criticizes the European perception of Africa and how it …

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God’s Underground Men: Discussing Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground and Scorsese’s Taxi Driver


“I have no idea what will come of this; perhaps it will be bad art.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky to his brother Mikhail about writing Notes from Underground Question: what does a 19th century Russian novella have in common with an American new wave noir film? Answer: Nearly everything. It was …

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Aesthete, Tragic Hero, Knight of Faith: Kierkegaard on the Universal Versus the Subjective


“For the objective approach makes one into an observer, so objective that he becomes almost a ghost. Matters such as Christianity and ethics, however, require a decision, and a decision is a matter of subjectivity” (Truth or Consequences: The Promise & Perils of Postmodernism) Søren Kierkegaard’s denunciation of Hegelianism in …

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James Joyce’s Eveline, in Dubliners: A Suffocating City


The short story Eveline in James Joyce’s collection of short stories, Dubliners, is a representation of Dublin’s asphyxiation of its people. The short story’s protagonist, Eveline, is trapped in Dublin by moral and familial obligations. She is paralyzed in a state of indecisiveness and fear of the unknown. The short …

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Franz Liszt: The Father of Progressive Music


Atmosphere or technicality? The privilege of being drawn into a temporary, alternate state of imaginative being, or the inevitable captivity induced by elegant instrumentality, is a dilemma that baffles us as a modern day audience of music in spite of our existent ability to solve it due to the extravagant …

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Justine, the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell: An Interpretation of a Scent


Written in retrospect, Lawrence Durrell’s Justine (first volume in his tetralogy, The Alexandria Quartet) is an attempt on part of Darley, the narrator, to be reconciled with Alexandria, the city that transfigured his life. During his stay in Alexandria, Darley is constantly torn between his love for Melissa and Justine. He associates …

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Caché (2005) by Michael Haneke: The Classic to Be


“Whatever kind of security you try to feed somebody is an illusion.” – Michael Haneke from a 2001 interview published by indiewire For obvious reasons, Michael Haneke’s Caché is said to be one of his least brutal films. Compared with his previous works, The Piano Teacher (2001) which revolved around sadomasochism, Funny …

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Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin: The Inanimate Beauty


It is severely unfortunate that the biography of Chardin will never be privileged with distinctness and absolute clarity for the painter’s life was never captured fully. But as in his paintings, the subject matter, which in this case would be Chardin himself, is transcended by the essence and artistic value. …

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