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There are many ways to begin a love story. Don’t believe me? Just walk into any bookstore’s romance section. You will stumble across microgenres like friends to lovers, co-workers to lovers, childhood neighbors to lovers, sister-in-law to lovers (hello Bridgerton season two!), strangers to lovers, fake lovers to lovers, fake lovers to lovers but for young adults — the list goes on. But — in accordance with the truism that the opposite of love is not hate, but rather indifference — the crown jewel plot line of contemporary romance is enemies to lovers. While I don’t personally get it — call me old fashioned but I’d rather my significant other like me instead of abhor me (been there done that!) — enemies to lovers is a long time favorite. From “Pride and Prejudice” to “When Harry Met Sally,” as a society, we cannot get enough of weirdly charged meet-cutes and declarations of hatred that turn into passionate kisses. I mean, anyone with a soul can admit that Elizabeth telling Darcy that he is the last man on Earth she could ever marry (while he stares longingly at her in the pouring rain) is damn good cinema. Who among us can forget Julia Stiles’s character in “Ten Things I Hate About You” reading a poem addressed to her enemy, played by Heath Ledger, that ends with “But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.” No one, that’s who. Enemies to lovers is all about the tension! The unspoken feelings! The miscommunication! The passion! The way they don’t hate each other, not even at all! The crux of enemies to lovers is a simple reversal of expectations. It really doesn’t take much. But Emily Henry makes that easy equation look pretty difficult in her third novel “Book Lovers.”
On Friday, April 15, student bands, Programming Board and Collis After Dark brought together the “Battle of the Bands” in Collis Common Ground. The event featured back to back ten-minute sets from campus bands “The Dandelions,” “Frank,” “Moon Unit,” “Pegasus,” “Read Receipts,” “Shark” and “Summer on Venus,” with “Moon Unit” taking first prize to be the student opener for Green Key in May, beating out “Frank” in second and “The Dandelions” in third.
Reading Sally Rooney is like finally being compensated for being a young woman. Her first two novels, “Conversations with Friends” and “Normal People,” catalog the romantic and intellectual obsessions of her college-aged subjects with rare tenderness and precision. She takes seriously the kind of stories that are often deemed frivolous merely because their subject matter (girls) is not seen as a viable cultural subset for which to make art, manifested in the phrase “chick lit.” Art which portrays female perspectives — especially young, contemporary female perspectives — is often viewed as separate and illegitimate. Rooney is the novelist I go to when I want to be seen and validated, so waiting for her highly anticipated third novel was like waiting for an old friend to return home.
The closure of in-person events has made live performances almost impossible for student musicians wishing to promote their music. Despite this challenge, Claire Collins ’22, Henry Phipps ’21 and Matt Haughey ’21 are writing, recording and producing music remotely.
If every genre but romantic comedy suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, absolutely nothing about my media consumption would change. I scan book reviews waiting for a hint of romance in the narrative. My streaming service recommendation algorithms have given up on selling me anything without at least a secondary plot of romance. I am indiscriminate as to whom, where or how fictional characters profess their love for each other — I only insist that they do. I love indie rom-coms about people falling in love while wearing overalls and studying at liberal arts colleges. I love blockbuster movies starring celebs with shiny teeth and perfect hair. I love love, period.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s New York Times best-seller “Mexican Gothic” is a lush, moody story brimming with horror and mystery. With all the trappings of a Victorian novel, “Mexican Gothic,” which was released in June, calls upon notable doomed heroines in the literary canon, from Ophelia in “Hamlet” to Cathy in “Wuthering Heights,” in order to place readers in its melodramatic prose. “Mexican Gothic” is your favorite Brontë novel, but better.
Yaa Gyasi’s follow-up to her American Book Award-winning 2016 debut “Homegoing” is “Transcendent Kingdom,” a novel alternating between past and present in the life of Gifty, a Ghanaian-American neuroscience Ph.D. candidate and former self-proclaimed “Jesus Freak.” Throughout the book, Gifty, who studies impulse control in mice, reexamines what led her to a life of empiricism after growing up in a deeply religious immigrant family in the Bible Belt. Grappling with Gifty’s experiences growing up “sticking out like a sore thumb” in her predominantly-white town and “as Ghanaian as apple pie,” the novel is both accessible and urgent.
It is not a well-known fact that Dartmouth hosted a small cohort of women exchange students starting in 1968 before its official inception as a coeducational institution in the fall of 1972. In recent years, Dartmouth has nearly equal numbers of women and men, a norm that is in part due to these trailblazers who made the first incursions onto Dartmouth’s all-male campus and shaped Dartmouth into the school it is today.
Taylor Swift. The name of one of America’s most successful musicians conjures up images of cowgirl boots, sparkly dresses, Twitter feuds and boyfriends. Often the mere mention of Swift induces a chorus of eyerolls or sighs of disgust. Very rarely do conversations about Swift mention her enormous success as a musician, including the fact that her most recent album “Lover” became 2019’s best-selling record in just a week. A common critique I hear of Swift’s work is that her music is too sophomoric, too girly and hyper-focused on relationships — according to Swift in a recent Rolling Stone article, the media has long since decided she was a “a boy-crazy man-eater.” And it’s true to a certain extent; the success of “Lover” demonstrates that Swift’s strength is highly rooted in her ability to write and compose songs based on love.
The film “Gloria Bell,” written and directed by Sebastián Lelio and starring Julianne Moore as the eponymous main character, is a meandering slice-of-life film beautifully unfolding what can only be called a coming-of-age film, only later in life. Gloria, the titular protagonist, is divorced, has an ordinary job and entertains herself by dancing in various nightclubs across Los Angeles and having unextraordinary interactions with her adult son and daughter. All of a sudden, a new romance blossoms for Gloria when Arnold, portrayed by John Turturro, picks her up at a nightclub. The two spend the night together and, at first, the relationship seems over just as quickly as it started — infinitely unimportant to Gloria. Her life is interesting with or without a lover, laced with subtle and grand disappointments such as her son’s wife abandoning him and their son, her daughter’s relationship with a Swedish big wave surfer, her work best friend’s imminent firing and her own mother squandering all the money left by Gloria’s father. The film treats such events with mundanity, as they are, after all, just parts of life. When Arnold calls Gloria to invite her on a date, it is clear she has forgotten him as much as the audience has, since she is caught up in her own life. We see Gloria answer the phone and respond, softly puzzled, “No, I’m not mad. Why would I be mad?’ Her nonchalance demonstrates her own self-contentment in life, based on a self-worth not rooted in someone else’s love or approval.
This spring, English and creative writing professor Joshua Bennett is teaching ENGL 53.29/AAAS 35.50; “Introduction to African American Environmental Thought: The Black Outdoors.” Bennett said that his work as a poet and a professor of the class both relate to his interest in preservation and spreading awareness.His course seeks to bring light to the vast artistic and ecological life of the African American literary canon as well as their lived experiences in the outdoors. Bennett has a fascination with black literature and poetics, especially in relation to environmental and animality studies.
“Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders is a luminary novel depicting a single night of grief. Set in a graveyard where Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, is buried, the story follows Lincoln’s visits to the tomb where several ghosts discuss their lives and their deaths. The novel is narrated by these ghosts who all occupy a purgatory-like existence called, after the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, “the bardo.” The ghosts in the bardo have all decided to stay between the living and the dead for a host of reasons. For instance, one of them, a preacher, knows he will go to hell if he leaves the bardo. The most common reason for staying, however, is that most of the ghosts are convinced that they are simply “sick” and set to eventually return to the realm of the living. For Willie, the choice between leaving for heaven or staying in the bardo is only complicated by his father’s return to his tomb. While the other ghosts try to convince Willie to leave — for the bardo is a complicated place where the young often go crazy — he desires nothing more than to stay with his father.
This spring is the inaugural term for the class “Intro to UI/UX Design I” with professor Lorie Loeb. According to Loeb, the class, which is open exclusively to first- and second- year students, focuses on creating meaningful, accessible and beautiful interfaces for technology. The class, which requires no previous experiences, uses elements of human-centered design, graphic design and design with digital tools. As the first part in a two-class sequence, students are expected to take “Intro to UI/UX Design II” in the following summer, fall or winter terms in order to apply their skills in the DALI lab as a designer.
Dartmouth Comedy Network is Dartmouth’s newest comedy group, joining other comedy groups on campus including Dog Day Players, Casual Thursday and Jack-O-Lantern. Created by Samantha Locke ’22, the group represents Dartmouth’s only scripted comedy group.
From Feb. 22 to March 2, the exhibit “#MeToo: Intersectionality Hashtag Activism and Our Lives” will be up in Berry West in the hallway in front of King Arthur Flour Café. The exhibit is a compilation of poetry, artwork and academic information about the Me Too movement in the U.S. and abroad, created by Dartmouth students. The work included in the exhibit is a product of the 2018 fall women, gender and sexuality studies class, which shares the name of the exhibit.
Whenever I find a poem or story I really love, I make my friends read it to me out loud. Poetry, which relies on the cleverest use of language, is an auditory experience as much as it is a written art. I am reminded of this when I listen to slam poetry. Hearing a piece out loud simply makes the writing more immediate and visceral. Slam poetry was started as a way “to breathe life” into poetry, both by re-invigorating the written word with performance and by functioning as a platform for marginalized voices beyond “social, cultural, political and economic barriers” according to Poetry Slam, Inc. Slam is a venue away from the traditional stuffiness of poetry, which is why it makes sense that the most fertile ground for slam is on the Internet. Both slam and YouTube are young, fresh and inviting to younger generations. The YouTube account “Button Poetry” compiles the most promising and innovative slam poets from the most respected competitions into one accessible platform.
The first poem I remember loving was “From Blossoms” by Li-Young Lee. I memorized its soaring verses, each one a dedication to peaches, and would recite it at nearly every lunch period to the chagrin of my classmates. I was a girl obsessed. That was the first time I had seen a poem that was unapologetically jubilant; Lee eschewed everything I thought I knew about poetry in “From Blossoms.” There was nothing depressing, pejorative or traumatic. It was simply an exalting review of some really good fruit and a really good summer’s day — and it was in that simplicity that Lee found the nuance and depth that marks interesting poetry.
The Hopkins Center for the Arts paired Ana Tijoux, a Chilean-French folk singer and rapper, with the all-female new wave “post-mariachi” band Flor de Toloache for an evening celebrating Latinx music this past Friday in Spaulding Auditorium.
For a movie about drugs and cartels that was inspired by a New York Times article by Nick Schenk, Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule,” is surprisingly dull, revealing nothing new with surface-level characters far below the capability of their actors.. Eastwood plays Earl Stone, a down-on-his luck former daylily horticulturist who becomes a drug runner, or mule, for a cartel in Illinois. Bradley Cooper plays Colin Bates, the FBI agent tasked with tracking the massive shipments of drugs into Chicago. Taissa Farminga plays Stone’s granddaughter, Ginny. Farminga’s portrayal is sophomoric, and her emotional scenes are unconvincing. When she calls Stone to tell him that his ex-wife is dying, Farmings uses acting class-techniques to touch her face and exasperatedly say, “I can’t believe this.”
The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra is tired. The ensemble has rehearsed intensely in preparation for their concert, which was held this past Saturday, and the next item on their agenda, a tour of Italy, is this upcoming interim period. At the concert, the DSO, under the direction of the Florentine-born conductor Filippo Ciabatti, played Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide Overture,” Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and William Grant Still’s “Romance for Trombone and Orchestra” in Spaulding Auditorium.