What Makes Hamlet so Timeless?

Psychoanalysis & Shakespeare  It is believed that Shakespeare’s Hamlet was performed for the first time in 1609 and met with critical acclaim at its debut. More than 400 years later, Hamlet is still regarded by many as the greatest drama ever written. In fact, Shakespeare’s tragedy continues to inspire artists’ various interpretations of the work,…

Lost in Translation

I’m no stranger to the art of translation. As an American attending the Lycée, I learned to translate French to English instantaneously to understand my teacher’s instructions. Today, it’s no longer the translated – but the untranslated – that puzzles me. The untranslatable French word “dépayser” describes the bewilderment one has upon being thrust into…

Fukú: Myth or Reality?

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao & Rita Dove’s Parsley Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Both “Parsley” by Rita Dove and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao…

Bringing ‘Fairytales’ Back to our Fairytales

“It’s kind of fun do to the impossible.” This quote from Walt Disney, whose name is virtually interchangeable with the genre of the fairy tale, encaptures how he changed the meaning of ‘fairytales’ to connote seemingly unreal perfection, luck, and happiness. Fairytales were not always synonymous with winsome fantasy, however. The Grimms’ Children’s and Household…

Godfather Death, Revised

Death’s Godson, Grimm Fairytale 44 2018 Edition A poor man had twelve children and had to work day and night just to feed them. When the thirteenth was born, the man was in such great distress that he did not what to do. So he just ran out onto the large highway, having decided to ask…

Without the Commentary

I’m standing up on the bima in my lilac tallis, with my hot pink kippah clipped to my head. It’s Shabbat, and my rock band is playing a soothing, lyrical tune, sending music notes fluttering into the sanctuary. I begin to chant l’Kha dodi, a song welcoming the sabbath, as I encourage the congregation to…

I’ll Still Remember

I still remember the smell of her pungent perfume, reminiscent of sweet, freshly cut red roses that still stand on her pink bedroom’s window sill, gently placed in her great-grandmother’s ornate golden crystal vase, swaying back and forth to the warm whisper of the brisk autumn wind. Her aroma, sparkling with sudden surprising hints of…

Should We Really Call Ourselves ‘Nasty Women’?

The Lazy Spinner & Fourth-Wave Feminism  During the third presidential debate of the 2016 elections, Donald Trump referred to his opponent Hillary Clinton as “such a nasty woman.” The phrase Nasty Woman became a women’s rights rallying cry used by social-media, especially on Twitter via the #IAmANastyWomanBecause. Feminists all over the nation sought to reclaim…

What About the Kiss?

Female Empowerment in The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich The “Princess and the Frog” is a rather well-known trope in modern day literature and culture. Over time, however, the Grimm’s original version, The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich, has undergone significant alterations, fundamentally changing the initial message of the fairytale. If you ask anyone what…

Honoring Silent Spring; Rachel Carson & The Environmental Movement

50 years after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (Carson, 1962), American journalist Eliza Griswold published an article in The New York Times (Griswold, 2012) claiming that Carson’s controversial book ignited the environmental movement in the United States. In modern day discourse and many environmental studies courses, Carson’s Silent Spring is often credited with having single-handedly (Griswold,…