François-Marie Arouet, known by his pen name Voltaire, was a French writer and philosopher in the Enlightenment period of 1685 – 1815. He often wrote satirical novels and plays that criticized contemporary social institutions and religious intolerance. His signature work Candide, or Optimism, follows the story of a naïve young man that experiences a series… Continue reading Book Review: Candide by Voltaire
In Book 10 of The Republic, Socrates says of the artist, “if he does not make that which exists, he cannot make true existence, but only some semblance of existence”. He uses the example of a bed to demonstrate that everything in the world has three forms: the ideal form created by God, a form created by the carpenter,… Continue reading Plato vs Aristotle on the Nature of Art
This was my first Dostoevsky ever! I adore his writing and laughed out loud several times (“haha I do that!”). Darkly funny, strangely introspective and painfully relatable. As bitter and pathetic as the underground man undeniably is, it’s startling how many similarities we share (which honestly is now making me question whether that means I’m bitter and pathetic... hm)… Continue reading Book Review: Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
This is a very important book with a very important message. As children we study the history of wars in school, we dissect and examine the extensive and cruel horrors that humans have subjected each other to. We ask questions like "what were the main causes of this war?" and "what important factors led up to that particular… Continue reading Book Review: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental questions of philosophy.”I think that to most healthy individuals, the notion of resorting to suicide can be inconceivable. Humans are biological organisms like any other: evolutionarily geared towards survival,… Continue reading Book Review: The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus
"Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience." Feminism is always a complicated topic to write about, because I've seen its focal elements vary by the contexts they're applied to. In the West, the third wave of feminism tends to focus a lot on body politics, sexual… Continue reading Book Review: A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft
Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming. Ah, The Secret History by Donna Tartt is it: the ultimate dark academia novel. The kind of book that will leave you dreaming of looming library halls, ink-stained hands, sleeplessness and black coffee. The novel that popularized the dark academia… Continue reading Book Review: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
We Have Always Lived In The Castle is an ode to isolation. Shirley Jackson's last work, written during the years of her life in which she succumbed deeper into the throes of paranoia and agoraphobia, feels like a deeply personal novel, with many themes being shared between her own struggles and that of the women in her book.