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Monthly Archives: March 2017

“Smoke,” by Eric Rivera

I hide my cigarettes / under abandoned bricks / in the tall grass past / where I don’t cut, / between the siding / and the downspout / where my kids can’t reach, / under potted plants / their mother no longer waters.

Truth, Sex, and Ego: On Women’s Diaries

The act of keeping a diary has a long history, and a tangled relationship with subjective “truth.” Although diaries have long been associated with women, Margo Culley argues in the essay “I Look at Me: Self as Subject in the Diaries of American Women” that diary-writing was not a feminized form until the second half of the nineteenth century — with the era’s shifting notions of self, the private sphere, and inner life — and again in the feminist 60s and 70s.

Haft-Seen table

Baharestan and the Persian New Year

The Persian New Year, called Nowruz (“New Day”), is the first day of spring—Thursday March 20, 2017, in the United States. It is calculated to the second, according to the moment that the sun crosses the equator. This non-Islamic holiday, which is shared by many countries, including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan, is based on the seasons and agricultural tradition, going back 3,000 years to Zoroastrian rituals.

“Primal Postcards: ‘Madeline’ as a Secret Space of Ludwig Bemelmans’s Childhood,” by Mary Galbraith

One or more pictures stand out as the book’s primal raison d’etre; that is, there is at least one picture which activates a “flashbulb memory” from the creator’s childhood and which the story explains in an ambiguous way. The manifest storybook explanation for this primal scene is benign and reassuring while the latent and historical interpretation is traumatic and unbearable.