Men Without Women By Haruki Murakami Translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen 228 pp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $25.95 In his new book Men Without Women, Haruki Murakami tells the stories of seven heartbroken men to explore the condition of solitude—of being a Men Without Women, which the titular story insists is “always a relentlessly frigid plural.” The fidelity of the stories to this central theme is tight and precise, giving the collection an overall feel similar to one of the “days” in the Decameron—if, instead of the plague-ridden Italian countryside, the aching lovers roamed across Murakami’s melancholic Tokyo. In Murakami’s treatment, solitude emerges as a chronic condition whose incurability stifles the possibility of action.
(Yoni Wolf has been making music since the mid-nineties and has been frontman of the band Why? since it formed in 2004. Why? released the album Moh Lhean in March 2017 and is currently on tour through the US.)EE: Hey! Thanks so much for doing this. You’ve started off on tour lately—how’s that going?YW: We’ve been on tour for about three weeks now. It’s fine, we have a day off today, so I’m walking around with my lady friend; gonna do some cooking, gonna do some laundry, et cetera.EE: We wanted to ask about your latest album, Moh Lhean— is it pronounced Mo Lean?YW: That’s fine.EE: You’d been on a little hiatus until it came out, right? It’s a lot of new songs — I was wondering if you could tell us a little about what went into it: process, time frame, inspiration…YW: Well, we recorded this one at home, so it went on for a while, as things tend to do when you have as much time as you want to work on them.
In 2014, Albie and Chris Manzo, the sons of Real Housewife of New Jersey Caroline Manzo, became the faces of BLK, a designer Canadian spring water the color of coal. BLK is infused with fulvic acid, a natural compound popular in alternative medicine, which gives the water its signature black hue. The company was started by two sisters Jacqueline and Louise Wilkie, who believe the drink’s “alkaline fulvic trace” saved their mother’s life. On Wikipedia, “Blackwater” may refer to the private American security consulting firm associated with the 2007 Nisour Square massacre, a liquid waste remaining after coal preparation, and a wastewater containing feces, flushwater and urine from toilets, an acute kidney disease, towns in Australia, Canada, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, and the United States, and assorted artworks.
Jamie Stewart, a square-jawed man with a razor-sharp side-part, has a low voice, a few tattoos, and the airs of someone with a strict hygiene regimen. Stewart is the anchor behind Xiu Xiu, a dark experimental act out of San Jose, whose combination of relentless nihilism and dry humor often splits the critics. Stewart is Xiu Xiu’s only constant player –– the band has added and shed eleven members since forming in 2002 –– and the band’s sound, like its membership, is always changing. Their repertoire ranges from the grim and percussive Angel Guts: Red Classroom, to Plays the Music of Twin Peaks (a bleak but lovingly rendered take on the cult TV show’s soundtrack), to Nina (an out-there tribute album to Nina Simone, that sounds more like an out-of-breath Anohni [à la Hopelessness] than anything from the Simone catalogue) to the upbeat, nearly noise-pop Forget, the band’s tenth release, which came out this past February.
Elif Batuman –– acclaimed New Yorker contributor, recent author of The Idiot (a novel set at Harvard in the ’90’s) and former Advocate member –– is every bit as genial, witty and inspiring as her Twitter page makes her out to be. It was truly a pleasure to have the chance to chat with her about her debut novel, The Idiot, Turkish heritage, and the 19th century Russian novel. She proves that it is, in fact, possible to be dazzlingly intelligent, publish two best-selling books and still be one of the warmest, most approachable people ever.B- We're very excited about The Idiot. How did you decide on your subject matter, and how was it to transition from writing mostly non-fiction to fiction?E- The Idiot is based on a draft that I wrote many years ago in 2000-2001; at that point I was in my early 20s.
These days, I often feel like I’m using Big Data to figure out the history of Big Data so I can better understand how Big Data is making me obsessed with Big Data. There are a few things I know for sure about this often perplexing pattern:1. The history of Big Data and the rise of the Internet appeals to me in part because I know it is inextricably tied to the history of American National Security and the rise of the military-industrial complex, 1950-1990, which also feels super consequential. 2. The plethora of data-driven archival databases and the precise search methods within them make it possible—in ways unimaginable even fifteen years ago—to pin down the corporations, figures, and products that made possible both the incomprehensible vastness of our government’s worldwide surveillance state and the incomprehensible vastness of the Internet.
What do you make of a forefinger (both hands) much larger in circumference than the other fingers –– really about the same proportion to circumference of fingers that my thumb is –– I had never noticed until yesterday.The rest of the letter can be found in the Special Collections of Houghton Library.
Gabrielle Smith wants you to consider ginger. Smith, the producer; writer; singer and all-round artistic force of Eskimeaux takes a moment to pause on 21 South Street. Smith is known for the quiet intimacy of songs that grow to a growl; her projects “O.K” and the 2016 “Year of the Rabbit” cross from tender revelations “i admit i'm scared” into accusation: “I say, "i love you" just to get you to say anything.”On April 14th, Smith brings her lyrical, gritty sound to the Sinclair. By the time she comes to Boston, Eskimeaux will have completed a cross-country odyssey in the company of alt-rock band WHY? Today she talks with the blog about spices, guitar strings, and sonic inspiration.You’re touring with “Why?”; you’ve worked with “Japanese Breakfast;” “Slutever” and others; what’s it like to work with different artists?It’s great! Working with different artists always gives me new perspective on how something can be played, how a song can be structured, what kinds of sounds I like but have never used for some reason, etc.
1. Our favorite artists are human. I’ve always questioned the accessibility of Romantic poets. I’ve always been hesitant in the faces of vast catalogues, of established names, of Enlightenment reactionaries, the free-roaming, the supernaturally-inclined, the metaphysical, the intensely personal. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Blake— skimming the tops of these collections in my AP Literature course had always had the adverse effect of revealing just how much there was left to know. When it comes down to it, William Wordsworth owned a copy of Paradise Lost bound in the skin of his pet dog, Pepper. No one is perfect.2. We don’t walk nearly enough. According to hosts of concerned locals, Wordsworth often composed his poems while pacing back and forth over the high mountain trails and lovely cobblestone streets of Cumbria.
AwashAkdeniz: Turkish for the Mediterranean. Translates to the “White Sea.” Imagine: you are 8 years-old. Innocence means nothing yet. You swim bare-bottomed; you are afraid of girls. You want to grow up to be just like dad, and your favourite colour is just red. Last week your father, hoarse, defeated, spoke of leaving, at last, for good. Whispered sickly in mother’s ear – her hair, waves of sand, softer than the look in her eyes, the look you can’t recognise; softer than her torn, work-worn hands. Murmured a word more giant than you could ever have fathomed. Deep down you knew it meant time here was up. Pale, it rose in your belly, then, the feeling that you’d be missing, somehow, the rubble and the blaze of home. Recall: you wake up in the middle of the night to leave for the dock.
Known for mixing elements of First Nations music with EDM, Canadian DJs A Tribe Called Red explore a range of genres on their third album, We Are the Halluci Nation. Pitchfork praises the release as “some of the heaviest and most infectious sounds around,” going as far as to say, “This album is critical listening for everyone.” A Tribe Called Red will be performing at The Sinclair on Saturday, March 18.JK: I’d love to start by talking about the intersection of art and politics. Do you see yourself primarily as an activist? As an artist? Do you think the two are fundamentally tied together?BW: They can be for sure. In my case personally, I don’t really see myself as an activist. I see myself as indigenous. The activism isn’t really a choice for an indigenous person. It’s a part of life.JK: Is it irritating that the public perception of your art can be connected to your heritage and political causes that you haven’t necessarily chosen? Or does it feel like an honor to be part of that tradition?BW: It’s a responsibility really.
(Arthur Sze’s ninth book of poetry, Compass Rose (Copper Canyon, 2014), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A new collection, Sight Lines, will be published by Copper Canyon in February 2019. His poem "Dawn Redwood" is included in the Harvard Advocate's upcoming Cell issue.)EE— First of all — thank you so much for taking the time to meet! We at the Advocate are huge fans of your work and incredibly excited to be publishing “Dawn Redwood” in Cell. In reading your poems, something that’s really struck me is their sort of contemplative traveling energy — reading them we transit through their images, say, from a landscape into the cells of a tree into the cosmic scale of stars. Are your poems driven by memory, by research, by invention — what would you say is the driving thread connecting the images of your poems?AS— That’s one of the mysteries of art, and I’m not sure I can be the best articulator of it! But I can say that my work has to do with braiding, and with exploring what’s happening in different spaces, allowing the imagination to jump or move, in a way that isn’t linear but still convergent, so that the disparate worlds going on are braiding different narratives or lines of exploration, influencing and affecting each other.