1960s

In the Heart of the Heart of the Country Analysis

In the Heart of the Heart of the Country Analysis

Insanity runs rampant through the American Midwest, whether due to boredom, loneliness, alcohol, or the violently cold weather. The characters within this collection move through their normal lives as their minds fall deeper into a barrage of words that rattle both them and the reader. The first four stories each show a different form of …

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Omensetter's Luck review

Omensetter’s Luck Review

In the late 19th-century. Brackett Omensetter and his family, a pregnant wife and two daughters, move from the country into Gilean, a small backwater Ohio town. Omensetter finds work and a place to rent by the river. His landlord, Henry Pimber, becomes nearly obsessed with Omensetter’s personality and his naturalistic, nonchalant lifestyle. After Pimber realizes …

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Slouching Towards Bethlehem review

Slouching Towards Bethlehem Review

Note: This blog typically focuses on fiction, but I find it important to also include certain canonical non-fiction works, especially if they either 1) have had an important influence on fiction, or 2) are by an author who also works in the realm of fiction. Slouching Towards Bethlehem is composed of 20 early essays by …

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Cleo from 5 to 7 Analysis

Cleo from 5 to 7 Analysis

Introduction: The experience of death anxiety in art is usually explored through deep philosophical pondering, a bleak atmosphere, and at times even religious or atheistic themes. They move through the character’s mind, giving the audience a sense of despair and hopelessness, forcing us to cope with our own mortality. But in Agnes Varda’s Cleo from …

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Expensive People Review

Expensive People Review

Introduction “I was a child murderer”, is how Joyce Carol Oates opens her thematic sequel to A Garden of Earthly Delights. Expensive People is the second book of her Wonderland Quartet, released in 1968. The book is written as a fictional autobiography of the stated child murderer, as he (Richard Everett) describes what brought him …

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The Orchard Keeper analysis

The Orchard Keeper Analysis and Review

Introduction: The Orchard Keeper (1965) was American author Cormac McCarthy’s first novel written in a small shack shortly after dropping out of college. The novel paints a portrait of a rural southern town know as Red Branch, where three character’s lives become entangled after a death brings them together. The novel explores how two of …

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Ivan's Childhood analysis

Ivan’s Childhood Analysis and Review

Introduction: After his graduation from the VGIK (a film school in Moscow, Russia) in 1960, Andrei Tarkovsky began working on the film Ivan’s Childhood, after another director had to leave its production. So begins the career of (in my opinion) one of the most artistic and poetic directors of all time. Ivan’s Childhood is now …

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A Garden of Earthly Delights

A Garden of Earthly Delights Review

A Garden of Earthly Delights was Joyce Carol Oates’ second novel and the first book of her Wonderland Quartet. In it, she follows Clara Walpole through her life in the style of an American epic. Oates explores how Clara’s life is affected by the men that surround her as well as exploring the class structure …

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Woman in the Dunes analysis

Woman in the Dunes Analysis

Hiroshi Teshigahara based his 1964 film Woman in the Dunes on author Kobo Abe’s novel of the same name. It’s a film of the early Japanese New Wave, an era where Japanese directors began exploring non-traditional themes and narratives with a more experimental and sometimes surreal style. Woman in the Dunes follows a male entomologist …

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