On Reading Women in Translation

When writer and translator Alison Anderson asked the question “Where Are the Women in Translation?” in an article in 2013, the situation was dire. It still has not improved. Readers seem less likely to pick up a translated book, and if it so happens that they do, the book is in most cases one written... Continue Reading →

A Room of One’s Own: Homelessness 

In her 1929 essay, Virginia Woolf argued that the lack of opportunities women were experiencing had led to a stifling of their voice and expression. She argues that discursive and physical space, as well as access to financial resources, need to be given to this disadvantaged category in order to break the cycle. This article... Continue Reading →

Rewriting History: How Period Dramas Can Change Our Perspective of the Past (with Reference to the “Taboo” Miniseries)

What are you looking for when watching ‘period dramas’? Is it historical accuracy or pure enjoyment? No matter the answer and regardless of our reasons for watching them, there is one thing that has become increasingly clear lately: period dramas have started to reclaim and rewrite history. Far from creating a soothing image of the... Continue Reading →

Shedding Light on Dark Academia   

One of the most popular types of aesthetics in the online book community at the moment goes by the name of ‘Dark Academia’. Originating on Tumblr and gaining popularity across all platforms, whether Twitter, Instagram or Tik Tok, this new trend seems to include everything from books to films and TV series to fashion. There... Continue Reading →

Should Humans Become the New Computers? Exploring the Potential and Limits of Human Nature in Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and Ted Chiang’s “Understand”

When thinking about technological advancements, people showcase an equal dose of excitement and reluctance. These days, artificial intelligence appears to be thriving: Sophia, the human-like robot, is touring the world, more and more robotic spacecraft are designed to be sent into space, and business owners already plan to hire robots instead of human employees in... Continue Reading →

What Happens in the Absence of Beauty?

What is beauty? Have you ever been treated unfairly because of your appearance? If so, it is possible you might enjoy Liking What You See, a 2002 short story by Ted Chiang (included in his volume Stories of Your Life and Others) that explores the possibility of a society that is indifferent to beauty. The... Continue Reading →

Liking What You See and Seeing What You Like: On Ted Chiang’s “Liking What You See: A Documentary,” with references to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”

One of the most remarkable contemporary Asian American writers, Ted Chiang, manages to surprise and entertain sci-fi lovers with his 2002 novelette, Liking what you see: A Documentary. In the story, Chiang  extracts the symptoms of prosopagnosia, a neurological cognitive disorder, and extrapolates them to a new procedure, called calliagnosia. Conceived as a documentary based on... Continue Reading →

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