Arts & Culture

by Editor — last modified 2017-01-31T07:19:07-04:00

 

Book review: Swing Time by Zadie Smith

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jun 23, 2017 09:20 AM
When Zadie Smith was promoting her fifth novel, Swing Time, in the fall of 2016, the way she talked about race, class and gender in interviews compelled me to put it on hold at the library. Her first novel to be narrated in the first person is a story about dancing, growing up in the working class communities of the East side of London, and facing the many facets of being an adult.

Book review: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified May 29, 2017 08:31 AM
It seems unbelievable that Zora Neale Hurston was almost completely forgotten as an important African-American author of the 1930's. And yet, her best known novel, Their eyes were watching God, had to be dug up from the archives as late as the 1970's and 1980's, where it spent far too much time unread and unappreciated. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the classic, providing an excellent opportunity to engage with the prose and substance of Zora Neale Hurston's writing.

Middlemarch by George Eliot

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified May 15, 2017 08:28 AM
For a Franco-Ontarian who has mostly read in French her entire life, certain English classics have always felt out of reach. George Eliot's Middlemarch, for example, which spans the imposing length of just under 900 pages, is not a book I would have picked up just for the sake of it. Its length should not put anyone off, though, since Eliot's writing has the ability to take the reader on a long, excursionary journey well worth travelling.

Book Review: Just Kids by Patti Smith

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Mar 25, 2017 09:42 AM
Patti Smith has had a long, creative life as a singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist. In Just Kids, she writes the memoir of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. She dives back into the New York City of the 1960's and 1970's when both of them were young, emerging artists and just getting started in their life-long artistic journeys.

Critique: Chanson douce de Leïla Slimani

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Mar 25, 2017 08:56 AM
Littérature inspirée d’un fait divers, Chanson douce a bien été reçu et reconnu par la critique en France. Le deuxième roman de l’auteure et journaliste Leïla Slimani a remporté le Prix Goncourt en 2016. Dès les premières pages, le dénouement tragique est connu du lecteur. La suite du livre tentera de déconstruire les mois précédents, ce qui donne une lecture intense et haletante.

Les Contes des Mille et une Nuits

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Mar 04, 2017 01:20 PM
Quel bonheur de s’immerger dans l’univers médiéval des Contes des mille et une nuits, cet imaginaire auquel la culture populaire et littéraire nous a rendus si familiers! Le lecteur averti peut entreprendre la série des 40 contes au complet, mais il existe aussi de nombreuses compilations qui présentent une lecture condensée et essentielle.

Critique: Les Années d'Annie Ernaux

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 16, 2017 09:02 AM
Voilà plusieurs livres d’Annie Ernaux dont je fais la lecture. Je cherche en quelque sorte à me familiariser avec l’œuvre de cette auteure pour qui l’écriture est à mi-chemin entre le mémoire et l’autofiction. Dans Les Années, Ernaux a comme point de départ des photos d'elle à différentes étapes de sa vie. Elle les passera une par une, faisant état de sa situation personnelle et des préoccupations du monde à cette époque.

L’Art d’aimer d’Ovide

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 12, 2017 10:33 AM
Nul meilleur temps que le mois de février pour plonger dans l’une des œuvres phares du thème de l’amour. Ovide, poète antique, s’amuse en offrant un manuel de l’amour et des règles de base de la séduction. Reçue à l’époque comme un ouvrage subversif, cette prose est une représentation joyeuse et même drôle d’un thème vieux comme la terre.

Book Review: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 04, 2017 09:42 AM
Emma Donoghue was born in Ireland and now lives in London, Ontario. Her last book, Room, was a hit and made into a film for which she also wrote the screenplay. It was the story of a woman and her son being held captive in a man's shed: not the most uplifting subject and yet told with lightness and might. Her most recent book, The Wonder, builds on a different theme: an eleven-year-old girl in the Ireland of the 1850's stops eating for religious and spiritual reasons. Here too, Emma Donoghue treats a dark topic with so much grace.

La Guerre des Gaules de Jules César

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 29, 2017 02:36 PM
Pour les amateurs des aventures d’Astérix le Gaulois, plonger dans l’univers de César et de l’armée romaine peut s’avérer un voyage empreint de nostalgie. Dans son ambitieux projet pour construire l’Empire romain, Jules César s’était assigné la tâche de documenter le quotidien de la guerre. Il en résulte une lecture étonnamment littéraire de la conquête des Gaules, ces territoires qui, un par un, sont passés sous l’emprise de l’imperator.

Citizens' Press revisits great works of literature

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 12, 2017 10:32 AM
It is widely said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. While this should be obvious to any modern society, these times require us to never take for granted some of the most basic assumptions. As we seek answers to understand the increasingly divided, unequal, and unpredictable world we live in, going back in time and space is a good place to start. It seems more appropriate than ever to revisit great classics of literature, to soak in the world order that once was in order to understand the context and conflicts of today.

Book Review: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 08, 2017 11:23 AM
When it was published in 1969, The Left Hand of Darkness reaped the following year’s Hugo and Nebula prizes, two major awards for science fiction writing. The book’s success helped to propel Ursula K. Le Guin as a figurehead for the genre. The Left Hand of Darkness is a brilliant, imaginative and provocative work that raised questions of great relevance for its time, and for today.

Critique: Dieu n'habite pas La Havane de Yasmina Khadra

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 02, 2017 11:42 AM
Yasmina Khadra est un auteur algérien qui a publié bon nombre de romans au cours de son œuvre. Son dernier livre, Dieu n’habite pas La Havane, élève la capitale cubaine au statut de personnage vibrant et coloré. Chaque page de cette histoire rend hommage à La Havane, à sa musique, à ses quartiers, et à ses résidents, sans manquer de mettre en évidence les nombreuses contradictions qui y prennent place.
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