Magazine created by students of the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University.

Category archive

Reviews

Motherhood Is a Brutal Experience. Why Shouldn’t You Be a Beast? Rachel Yoder’s Nightbitch

in Current Issue/Reviews

by Blanka Šustrová

 

The image of motherhood we are being served through the media, be it in advertisements or film, depicting always happy, fresh looking, never tired young mothers with perfect bodies who feel no other thing whatsoever but pure love for their babies and seem to be on top of every task that motherhood brings is often a derision of the real experience and may bring feelings of insufficiency in mothers and primary carers. If you would like to read about motherhood from a very different point of view, a very well-crafted one that goes from satirical and darkly funny to magical realism to absurd to horror and leaves you baffled in the end, try Rachel Yoder’s novel Nightbitch. Keep Reading

Once Upon a Modern Time: Fairy Tales as a Way to Address Modern Issues

in Current Issue/Reviews

by Alena Gašparovičová

Shared by creatifrankenstein under Pixabay License via pixabay.com

 

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young woman in a desperate situation and in need of a prince to rescue her. However, she is the protagonist of a different story. Despite the name of the famous fairy-tale character Cinderella in the title of the book, Laura Lane’s and Ellen Haun’s Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling: And Other Feminist Fairy Tales offers adaptations of a range of well-known traditional fairy tales. The authors use the familiarity of the fairy-tale settings and characters and mould them into a new form. Aimed at a more mature audience, these stories not only present self-sufficient female characters who do not need any man to save them, they also address issues like class, ethnicity and gender identity that resonate through today’s society. All of that is packaged in the form of a fairy-tale rewriting in a humorous and parodic manner. This article offers a review of the collection as well as an analysis of how selected stories in the book challenge the traditional fairy tale stereotypes and address the issues of modern society. Keep Reading

Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: Wes Anderson’s Cinematography Breakthrough

in Current Issue/Reviews

by Rastislav Domček

 

Ever since its conception in the early 20th century, film as a story telling medium has gone through constant changes. Filmmakers have always drawn their inspiration from the works of their predecessors, in turn providing inspiration for new generations. When Orson Welles decided to use low camera angles to capture the magnitude of his characters in Citizen Kane in the early 1940s, the world of film did its typical dance of repulsion and adaptation. When Stanley Kubrick introduced the world to his hypnotic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey in the late 1960s, he guided the sub-genre of ‘little green men’ sci-fi to the brave new world of thought-provoking visual splendour. By the late 1990s, Hollywood was dominated by the high-budget blockbuster mega-film. How do you find success following the likes of Steven Spielberg or James Cameron? The answer is to think outside of the box. Keep Reading

The Old, the New, and the Queerly Magical World of Dickinson

in Reviews

By Tereza Walsbergerová

Due to the specific blend of genres, styles, and themes it chooses to highlight – all wrapped up in a wildly anachronistic package – Alena Smith’s Apple TV+ historical comedy-drama Dickinson (2019–) will never have the same mainstream appeal as the likes of Downton Abbey, Outlander, or The Crown. That said, there probably has not been a better time for shows that explore the tumultuous past of the West (be it Britain, Canada, or America) through contemporary optics, least of all the optic of a young woman. Similar to Moira Walley-Beckett’s coming-of-age period drama adaptation of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Anne with an E , Dickinson offers a view of the old world through the eyes of a young woman so ahead of her time it seems only natural that her opinions be blended with today’s perspectives.  Keep Reading

Future for the Females?

in Reviews

by Jana Záhoráková

The Power, a science fiction novel by British novelist Naomi Alderman, was published in 2016. It won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2017 and amongst other prestigious praise, it was one of the books former president Barrack Obama listed as his favourites of that year. The novel consists of several stories of mostly young women who struggle to control and use their newly acquired super-powers which emit electricity. These stories are presented as a historical novel written by a man in a distant future world, dominated by women. The source of this power is regarded to be a mysterious liquid called “Guardian Angel” which was a medication developed during the Second World War that prevents people from dying after being exposed to toxic gas (Alderman 123). It was poured into the water reservoir to protect people from enemies. However, it had an unexpected side effect on the generations of females to come. 

Keep Reading

“Becoming” First Lady

in Reviews

by Ľubomíra Tomášová

Throughout the history, there were myriad of biographies written about First Ladies of United States and a number of memoirs written by them. In each case the story was unique and different mirroring both their backgrounds and eras in which they served. At the end of the 2018, Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming was published and soon it became the best-selling book of 2018 in the United States. This memoir is an account of the 44th First Lady of the United States and at the same time the first African American First Lady, which makes the author even more unique and relatable to her readers. Obama writes very authentically about her childhood struggles as an African American, finding herself as a young woman, wife and mother, navigating her life and finding her own voice as a First Lady and even after this part of her life being over, still continuing to be an inspiration for many.

Keep Reading

Towards Inclusive Heritage: Thoughts on Wain, a collection of LGBT themed poetry by Rachel Plummer

in Current Issue/Reviews/Views
Courtesy of The Emma Press, art by Helene Boppert

by Tereza Walsbergerová

Agender and gender-queer creatures, bisexual mermaids, homosexual warriors, asexual goddesses, non-binary elves, and transgender seal folk. All this and more awaits you in Rachel Plummer’s 2019 LGBT themed retellings of Scottish mythology – Wain: LGBT Reimaginings of Scottish Folklore. As the book was commissioned by an organisation dedicated to the inclusion of queer children and youth in Scottish society, this article questions the educational potential of story-telling, the possibility of inclusive heritage, the use and “abuse” of mythology, and the universal character of mythical meanings.

Keep Reading

Stoker: A Tale of Female Maturescence with a Tinge of Hitchcock

in Reviews

By Sandra Hrášková

Park Chan-wook, Marie Claire Korea, YouTube, CC BY 4.0.

 

Stoker, a 2013 psychological thriller drama film, is the English-language debut of South Korean film director, screenwriter and producer Park Chan-wook. The narrative depicts the unsettling coming of age story of a young woman repressed by her dysfunctional family. Chan-wook is praised as one of the most renowned and favoured filmmakers in South Korea and has also been gradually gaining popularity worldwide. In interviews, he lists both Western and Asian filmmakers as his figures of influence, for instance the Korean producer Ki-duk Kim and the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. As Kurt Osenlund discovered when interviewing Chan-wook, Stoker was influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of Doubt.

Keep Reading

Ponti: On Female Strengths and Burdensome Social Roles

in Reviews
The cover of Ponti published by Simon & Schuster, photo credit: Simon & Schuster. Picture courtesy of Sharlene Teo.

By Sandra Hrášková

Sharlene Teo is a Singaporean novelist based in the United Kingdom whose fictional pieces have appeared in publications such as Esquire UK, Magma Poetry, and Eunoia Review.  She has an LLB in Law from the University of Warwick and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she is currently completing her PhD in Creative and Critical Writing. Aside from being the recipient of the 2013 David T.K. Wong Creative Writing Fellowship and the 2014 Sozopol Fiction Fellowship, Teo is the winner of the inaugural Deborah Rogers Writers’ Award for her debut novel Ponti. Keep Reading

1 2 3
Go to Top