Afterglow: The Last Book–Textual Survival and Apocalyptic Knowledge in Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai

Like many unjustly marginal books, Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai is a novel that makes you want to proselytize. It makes you want to blog about it, laud it to your friends, brandish it in high-transit places in the hopes that another intrepid reader, impelled by the novel’s aura of genius, will come along and ask about it. Continue reading

Afterglow: Kids These Days

Buried in Joan Didion’s homage to the Haight-Ashbury hippie culture of 1967, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, is a brief, almost throwaway reference to what Didion called “younger part-time, or ‘plastic,’ hippies.” Once amphetamines began to supersede acid and “grass”—the pillars on which the Haight culture Didion portrayed once stood—these ‘plastic’ hippies, who preferred the “illusions of action and power” supplied by the former, came to symbolize the “general deterioration of the scene.” Later in her essay, Didion describes a performance art Mime Troupe in blackface that handed out fliers announcing:

IF YOU DON’T KNOW, BY AUGUST HAIGHT STREET WILL BE A CEMETERY. Continue reading

Afterglow: Animations–Part One

an·i·ma·tion
anəˈmāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. the state of being full of life or vigor; liveliness.
    “they started talking with animation”
  2. the technique of photographing successive drawings or positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the movie is shown as a sequence.

Renee Zhan is a senior concentrating in Visual and Environmental Studies. Her film Pidge (to be published in Part Two) was shown as part of the 2015 Telluride Film Festival.

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