ROUND-UP September 15-24, 2018

Hello readers! Please enjoy a book review, an art review, and an academic article based on a conference paper I delivered last fall! That wraps up September 2018.
"The Harry Potter fan fiction "Goldstein," by Laazov, a long-running fic begun in November 2014 that remains uncompleted, centers on Anthony "Yehuda" Goldstein, a marginal character confirmed as Jewish by J. K. Rowling. This fan fic has led many Jewish fans to embrace him as the sole example of Jewish representation in the Potterverse. This analysis of "Goldstein" traces fan efforts regarding representation of marginalized identities and how these efforts have made it into the mainstream."
"Memory, sense perception, and fact all roll together, and we have to tease them apart to get at some version of the truth. After all, when we remember important events, events that crushed us and rendered us raw in some way, our sense memory is stronger than the minute detailed steps of our procedural linear memory: that flush on our cheeks, the ripe feeling of shame, lingers long after we forget the perfect A to Z of what happened to make us react this way. The Incendiaries is less a story than a collection of these impressions and imprinted moments, feeling at times like an exercise in teasing out the most abstracted and poetical way of writing about something, often letting any potential sense of narrative propulsion fall to the wayside. It can be roughly sketched out as boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl joins cult, boy loses girl, its crystallized story beats coming almost like a screenplay. But actually reading it means often stepping back from that twisted, lush prose to remember than the story itself is fairly simple, albeit rendered in a non-clich├ęd way."
"Sober portraits of naturalized immigrants peer out against a rust-colored ground, framed by snippets of the elaborate typed text that means they are now Americans. Yet Kane’s works don’t have a celebratory air to them. The forbidding, spiky forms to which the portraits are affixed take on the air of prison guard towers, easily recalling the United States’ still-ongoing imprisonment of refugees and migrants — the decided lack of shelter for those who need it most. Hanging nearby, George Lorio’s Flood, is a refreshingly elegant composition that uses color and texture sparingly to depict a white house sinking below a sheet of black water. While depicting one natural disaster, Flood actually visually recalls another famous example: that of Dorothy’s Kansas farmhouse twisting in a tornado. In Lorio’s work, there is no shelter, no safety to be had, not in the world of fictional Midwestern twisters, or in real-life floods like the one that Houston experienced only a year ago."

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