If you ask me who my favorite writer is, I’ll probably say Albert Camus, because I love his writing and his ideas and also because his name is recognizable and thus me liking him helps construct a certain image of me. But I am less moved by Camus and the Nobel-prize-crowned glory of his rhetoric than by one more obscure author, whose ideas boil down to little more than a grammar of unhappiness: my favorite novelist, Romain Gary.
When I googled the meaning of my last name, I felt the same way I felt while visiting the museum at Gettysburg when a docent urged me to search the database and see if my ancestors had been involved in the battle.
Like many sports that rely on brute force, taekwondo sometimes requires athletes to cut weight. We just call it cutting, which to outsiders might evoke associations with another kind of unhealthy behavior. My 5’2” frame is small enough that many are surprised I need to cut at all, but not quite small enough to fit into weight classes created for tiny-boned Korean women.
Princeton students are special. We’ve been told this upon every rite of passage we have experienced. No one ever dares to contest that they have near-superhuman aptitudes for creativity and hard work, Renaissance men and women all, steeped in the finest principles of humanism. Yet there is one thing in which we cannot manage to surpass the national average.
Late one Friday night, buzzed and carrying packs of sour candy from the Wa, I wandered to a room in Whitman. As my host and I sat on her bed, alternating handfuls of Sour Patch and some other Technicolor monstrosity, her roommate decided to show me a video for “Beauty and a Beat,” performed and directed by everyone’s favorite cultural punching bag: Justin Bieber.
Rorschach tests and free-association exercises seem to me too well known, too expected to be useful for psychoanalysis. But I have found a new test to capture the shallower motions of our subconscious: the words of students childishly bumbling and … Read More
But the more I thought about this movie, the more I realized it simply gives an illusion of depth. A movie filmed with somewhat unconventional techniques, or featuring naturalistic dialogue and little plot, is automatically assumed to be “artsy” and thus philosophical, by association with the style of the French New Wave.