Posts by Platon Poulas
More King Kong than Kate Moss
More King Kong than Kate Moss

King Kong Theory is about being rebellious towards a system of oppression without ever considering violence against it a step too far. If anything, it’s necessary. Despentes contextualises the title by saying she’s more King Kong than Kate Moss – a woman who is still a woman outside the framework determined by men, which is of course has sex as a primary factor.

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Platon PoulasComment
In the Southern Clime, Where the Summer’s Prime
In the Southern Clime, Where the Summer’s Prime

Three girls, murdered in their own small Argentinian towns two years apart one from the other, all three cases unsolved. Years later, after the police and the courts and the newspapers, and the towns themselves, have stopped talking about them, Selva Almada begins to look closer at these murders.

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Platon PoulasComment
Old Ladies and Murder Mysteries
Old Ladies and Murder Mysteries

An old Eastern European woman living alone in a remote village where people don’t pay any attention to her becomes involved in a murder mystery somehow connected to William Blake’s poetry while at odds with the police, who don’t take her seriously.

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Book Review: Bindlestiff by Wayne Holloway
Book Review: Bindlestiff by Wayne Holloway

Bindlestiff presents a post-apocalyptic-looking landscape that has seen the disintegration of the federal system and of the internet, along with the socio-economic structures that held the country together. But this post-apocalyptic image is just that – an image conjured by a script written by @waynex in the process of getting the Hollywood treatment.

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Book Review: The Governesses by Anne Serre
Book Review: The Governesses by Anne Serre

In The Governesses, Anne Serre builds an enchanted, magic atmosphere where everything happens in the shadows. She employs language and imagery that bring the fairytale staples back to their dark, sexually-charged roots while at the same time exploring masculinity and gender dynamics through a feminist lens.

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The Journeys of a Europhile: Stefan Zweig
The Journeys of a Europhile: Stefan Zweig

The conditions that led to Zweig’s departure from Vienna and eventually Europe all too closely resemble the current climate. The amalgamation of rising xenophobia, Brexit, the rising popularity of the mildly-labelled “alt-right” in France, The Netherlands, Italy, and particularly in Poland and Hungary, would surely inspire the same feeling of despair in Zweig if he were living today.

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Book Review: Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo
Book Review: Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo

From the very first pages, Animalia establishes itself as a text that demands attention and rewards it with visceral prose that doesn’t simply create a world, but becomes part of its very fabric. It’s dense in a way that every page holds its own weight. The action is focused on movements rather than events – the routine is settled early on, and every activity in the characters’ lives is simultaneously mundane and vital.

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Book Review: Rilke in Paris by R.M. Rilke & Maurice Betz
Book Review: Rilke in Paris by R.M. Rilke & Maurice Betz

Rilke went to Paris in 1902 to write a monograph on acclaimed sculptor Auguste Rodin. This was only the beginning of his love affair with Paris, a city which he would leave and return to again several times between his first visit and his death in Switzerland in 1926. Rilke in Paris is the combination of his own reflections on Paris and the observations of his French translator, Maurice Betz.

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Book Review: Happening by Annie Ernaux
Book Review: Happening by Annie Ernaux

Anyone who picked up The Years last year does not need to be convinced that Happening is a memoir of the highest calibre by an author who writes with such honesty and precision about the most personal of stories. Annie Ernaux offers a glimpse into a difficult and lonely period of her life as “something intelligible and universal, causing my existence to merge into the lives and heads of other people.”

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Book Review: Mothlight by Adam Scovell
Book Review: Mothlight by Adam Scovell

Adam Scovell’s debut novel Mothlight is a first-person introspective journey of understanding how a personal identity is informed and shaped by other people. A novel written with the style and sensibility of a literary memoir, it is as much an exercise in self-exploration as it is an exercise in memory.

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Platon PoulasComment
Book Review: Soul of the Border by Matteo Righetto
Book Review: Soul of the Border by Matteo Righetto

Matteo Righetto’s Soul of the Border is an fascinating mix of adventure and historical fiction that focuses on the life of a tobacco-growing family during the late 19th century in the Veneto region of Italy. The hard farming life of the de Boer family reflects the wider trials which the working class of the region faced in order to survive during that period.

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Platon PoulasComment
Book Review: Limbo by Dan Fox
Book Review: Limbo by Dan Fox

Dan Fox’s new book came as a result of writer’s block, a period marked by failed attempts to write a collection of travel essays. Instead, he focused on this phenomenon of creative stagnancy and wrote about his introspective analysis. The result is Limbo, a long essay that considers a multitude of domains, physical and metaphysical, in which agency is removed and time takes on unfathomable qualities.

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Driving Plows and Taking Names: Olga Tokarczuk's Vegan Noir
Driving Plows and Taking Names: Olga Tokarczuk's Vegan Noir

After the success of Man Booker International Prize Winner Flights, Fitzcarraldo Editions return with a new Olga Tokarczuk novel. Originally published in Poland in 2009, Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead was translated into English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Far from the “constellation-novel” form of Flights that Tokarczuk opts for in many of her later works, it presents itself as a reinvention of the gothic noir and crime novel.

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On Olivia Laing's Crudo: Who is Kathy Acker?
On Olivia Laing's Crudo: Who is Kathy Acker?

After having published carefully researched and masterfully written books on drinking, writing, and loneliness, Olivia Laing put out Crudo last week. A fictional story set in a very non-fictional moment in time, Crudo is in essence an attempt to capture, and make sense of, the experience of living through the summer of 2017, and going through that experience one moment at a time.

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Ottessa Moshfegh's Self-Obsession, Drugs and R&R
Ottessa Moshfegh's Self-Obsession, Drugs and R&R

After having graduated in art history from Columbia and quitting her job at a pretentious art gallery, the unnamed narrator of My Year of Rest and Relaxation retires in her Upper East Side apartment and resolves to sleep for the coming year, at the end of which she expects to emerge a different person.

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