BY SEAN CUBILLAS
To be “meta” is defined as referring to itself or to the conventions of its genre; self-referential.
The following is the real time dictation of a writer who got bored doing homework. It is the stenography of events that transpired around and within him. Essentially, it is a meta-diary.
The theory of man’s evolutionary walk from the molten
Evolution is an apparent process coexisting with
What am I doing? This is so incredibly boring, and I’m just making stuff up. I don’t even know what I’m talking about. I guess I’ll type anything. Look at me now, just typing down my thoughts. Looking across the room as I process my awesome typing skills. Don’t even have to look at the keyboard, unless it feels like I hit a key awkwardly and have to check. I’ve done it at least 3 times, since I started looking through the room and am no longer looking at anything but the screen. Now, back to the room. What do I see? I see a guy with a plaid shirt and glasses (just his shirt is plaid; I want to confer syntax), and he’s reading. A few feet away from his table is another guy, with lamp light shining on him as he listens to something on his headphones. I guess it could be music, but really, it could be anything. It could be the audio version of a lecture or the blood curdling screams of murder victims under the process of being just that. Whatever. In front of him is just a series of more people doing more productive work than me. I wonder what would happen if I got caught.
Hey, what are you doing?
Nothing. I’m just doing research for a class.
Cool. Which class?
(Stairs (I mean stares*) at screen blankly. Has no idea how to explain his extrospective diary. Literally just looked up extrospective but is now being watched intently by a girl who is obviously confused by the extended silence.)
Um, it’s just for one of my history and culture classes going over human evolution. I had a hard time coming up with an opening statement and thesis, so I just thought I’d keep on typing and see where that gets me.
Oh, I hear you. You know that paper for Jefferson’s class? I literally wrote that paper in a night. Most of it was just BS I got from caffeine and really good Spark Notes.
Well, I just came over to see if you’d help me with some grammar work, but I see that you’re busy,
No, no, you’re no trouble at all. What do you need?
Why do you type only when one of us says something? You’re not even looking at the monitor.
Oh, it’s nothing just ooe hjioenf;ksldfiojafiehgfsd.
All of a sudden the library had collapsed. Up above was a giant robot that just punched a hole through the roof.
I could hear screaming and the building cracking all around me. (All while the computers still worked, so I’ll keep typing.)
I looked to my side and the girl had been caught under some of the rubble. She didn’t look well, but all I could do was keep typing.
The brilliant writer came up with the brilliant idea to write in a hero to this text. From up above, came a caped crusader whose body burst to the seams with muscles, power, and American patriotism.
He (because it’s a guy) swooped down and simply picked up the rubble and miraculously performed CPR on the girl, saving her life.
Next, he zoomed around the room, saving anyone in any danger. Some other people also got caught under rubble. There were fires in the corner. An old man had fell from the balcony and broke his leg. Gary was eating a peanut butter and ketchup sandwich. Somebody needed to put a stop to that.
Next, the hero zoomed up to fight the giant robot (but still close enough so that I could still write about it.)
The battle was epic, hard to describe in words. That one punch was so adverb. The hero was really adjective. Conjunction. Simile. Prepositional phrase. More words.
The world was in a buzz as other superheroes, dragons, and even aliens would come down to help and …oh, almost time for class.
Yeah, all that stuff would be fun. Even just talking to a girl. Til’ next time…
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE IN 64 THOUGHTS
BY JESS ARRAZOLO
1. So the husband is always addressed as Mr.? That’s weird.
2. Damn these three make an entrance.
3. Did the mom really just say her daughter isn’t pretty? Bitch, she takes after you.
4. Ugh. Darcy is a DICK.
5. This mom’s manipulative. Damn she’s sneaky. Did she actually cause her daughter to get a cold?
6. These match makers don’t fuck around.
7. Darcy’s face does not move.
8. He looks like a way attractive Snape.
9. Okay, so Blingly’s sister is a bitch.
10. Awwwww how sweet. He helped her into the carriage.
11. Damn they hate Collins. He’s already exhausting.
12. “Excellent boiled potatoes.”
13. Goddamn all these people think about is marrying into status.
14. These girls are thirsty as fuck.
15. Why is Lizzie always second? She’s pretty too. If she can land Will Turner, she can definitely get anyone in this film.
16. This Redcoat is cute.
17. Ooh Mr. Wickham and Darcy have a stare down.
18. And then Darcy leaves.
19. Why do I feel like Wickham is actually lying?
20. Is he pulling a Hans? Is he actually not a Kristoff but in fact a Hans?
21. So. Darcy low key, high key likes Lizzie. Like a lot.
22. Collins in creepy.
23. Darcy is that dark and mysterious boy who’s seen some shit and now he thinks he’s some deep starving artist type that’s angry with the world and Lizzie is having none of it.
24. He just appears out of nowhere like fucking Edward Cullen.
25. I’m starting to understand the pride part of this film. Lizzie’s pride has been wounded by Darcy because he said once that she ain’t shit and now she hates him.
26. Damn. Can Darcy smile? You’d think it would hurt him inside.
27. Lizzie is the queen of sass.
28. Wait, did Darcy just say that he hopes Lizzie will get to know him in the future?
29. Oh my God. Can Collins just give it up?
30. I’ve never seen someone look so terrified of a flower. I hate this.
31. BRUH. She just said she hasn’t given you an answer. You’re moving to fast.
32. He’s her only option? How rude. Once again, she got Will Turner, she can top you, Dude.
33. Everyone laughs at everything.
34. How does Donald Sutherland look older than he does now? Is it the hair? President Snow has shorter hair…
35. Jane got dropped fast as fuck.
36. They sure do toss the world love around.
37. Why the FUCK is Darcy there? This man pops up everywhere.
38. He looks at her like it hurts his heart.
39. Good God speak, man. You look like you’ll swallow your tongue.
40. Charming house my ASS… and he rushes out.
41. That was awk.
42. So Darcy sabotaged Jane’s engagement.
43. I don’t understand how these people just throw the world love around.
44. Darcy looks so hurt it breaks my heart. Why you do this, Lizzie? Come here, Man, I’ll give you a hug.
45. Life just keeps bringing these two together.
46. Damn he’s rich.
47. He just looks so sad.
48. Fucking Wickham, what does Lydia have that benefits him?
49. So, does the mom low key suffer from anxiety?
50. Is marrying really that big an accomplishment? Lol. Literally no one is happy or celebrating with her.
51. Darcy paid him off? She’s fucking 15.
52. Mrs. Bennett is exhausting.
53. I can’t tell if she’s fake as fuck or if she still hoped he would marry Jane. She’s both.
54. He’s flustered. It’s cute.
55. Darcy’s like, “Dude calm you shit.” Hypocrite.
56. Aw she said yes.
57. She’s realizing she loves Darcy.
58. Lady Catherine knows they love each other.
59. This is such a power move, it’s not even funny.
60. I feel like this was the moment that Lizzie made the decision to move on.
61. He walked there just like she did. Lizzie if you don’t accept this declaration…
62. Darcy deserves a fucking Oscar. He still doesn’t smile and you know he’s over the moon.
63. SMILE GOD DAMMIT.
64. Mrs. Darcy. (:
HOPPER DRAWING: A PAINTER'S PROCESS
BY SYDNEY CLARKSON
“Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process" is the first museum exhibition to focus on the drawings and creative process of American artist Edward Hopper (Dallas Museum of Art).” In the collection, Hopper includes a variety of pieces that represent a specific point of the creative process for an artist, or more precisely a painter. This piece is of the first that is seen when entering the exhibit. It is a rough sketch of a final composition that is also included in the collection. The design is a sketch of a woman, positioned towards the left of the canvas, sitting holding her legs, looking out towards the right. There is a contrast between the dark strokes of the pencil and the beige color of the canvas. There are markings and eraser marks that surround the subject of the piece. The markings are short phrases that indicate changes that the artist wants to make, in order to improve and/or create the vision he intends for the artwork.
There are harsh lines to create the outline of the woman’s body. The outside markings are all lightly made with lines pointing to the certain area in which they pertain. These markings and notes grab my attention because they take me through the process that he went through. He draws, views, then erases. Or maybe he sketches, thinks those markings are sufficient but finds other elements of that particular part that can be improved; he makes a note and draws a line to connect the thought.
The art work conveys a sense of peace and tranquility, outside of it being incomplete. The woman in the composition, the focal piece, is glancing calmly out towards what most might assume would be a window. She is on the floor, holding her legs, enjoying the view. Perhaps, she is thinking about what she sees or what this moment of simplicity reminds her of: the thought of family, friends, happiness, love, laughter, contentment. Through this piece the viewer is drawn into her story but also to Hopper’s, the artists. We think about the complexity and vitality that is experienced when creating. The combination of both of these stories is the element that is most intriguing about this piece. As a writer, I understand the experience of the creative process. It is a compelling scenario of creating the story of your subject matter, and conveying your own. . It is also relatable on a level outside of the arts realm. We all experience this process, merging together our own story with the story of our work, our education, our family, or friends, making mental side notes that we save to help process what we experience along the way.
ARTIST INTERVIEW: CHLOE CURIEL
BY OLIVER DAVIS
Chloe Curiel is a dashing freshman here at St. Edward’s who is currently pursuing a degree in art. Her hard work towards her major stems from a fierce drive to turn her ideas and emotions corporeal. She dabbles in several different artistic mediums such as photography, drawing, visual design, and film but her favorite mode of expression is through crafts.
Oliver: So Chloe, why did you decide to take an art major?
Chloe: I’ve always liked making things with my hands. Making art is just one thing I never got tired of. When I was young I’d always be making stuff, ya know, just trying to invent things, make gifts for people etc. I never got tired of it. I think art is a really powerful way to communicate without having to blatantly say anything. I also think art has the ability to implement change, if used in the right way. That’s why I want to learn more skills for making art, so I can learn how to change things with art.
Oliver: Is there a preferred medium you like to use?
Chloe: I really prefer collage, over the years it just become one of my favorite things, I don’t really know why, but I think it’s because it’s easier to create a narrative through the medium and it uses familiar things to do so. It’s a fast way to get a message across. I also like cutting things and putting them back together, it just feels good.
Oliver: Is there a central idea you like to convey through your art?
Chloe: A lot of the pieces that I worked on in high school have to do with identity. I really like making things that preserve memories or look like memories, to remind people of who they are. I think I especially like this theme because while we’re in college it’s a really formative time for all of us and it’s really important that we remember who we are. Throughout high school, especially while I was a senior I was always thinking about who I was and how I was going to use my memories and the identity that they built to communicate that to other people and help them remember things about themselves. My mother always used to tell me to remember who I was and I guess I really took that to heart. I always try to tell people to remember who they are because I think all we really have is our own story to tell and we can use that to help other people.
Oliver:Where do you want to go in the future?
Chloe: Well surprisingly I’ve found that I don’t want to do just studio work, even though I enjoy it immensely I think I’d really like to be a set designer for a film and possibly theatre. Here at St. Edward’s I’m gonna start with theatre and then take some film classes, I’ve always loved film, it reminds me of collage, to help really got a well rounded idea when it comes to designing sets.
Oliver: So why did you end up picking St. Edward’s for your art major?
Chloe: Well originally I wanted to go to an art school like School of the Arts in Chicago, but I ended up picking St. Edwards because I got into the honors program and I was encouraged by the art director here, Hollace Hammonds, to be in the honors program because as an art student you get a lot more freedom when you picking classes and get a really well rounded connections. On top of that, St. Edward’s had a really intimate feel, I felt like I would get attention if I needed it. In bigger schools such as UT or some other really big art school where I feel like if you’re not successful right away you kinda get ignored. St. Edward’s is not like that in any department, especially in the art department where that intimacy and encouragement is really important. People sometimes get really frustrated and discouraged when it comes to art and quit or don’t get better because people don’t help them or don’t care about them if they’re not successful right away. So far I’ve really enjoyed my stay at St. Edward’s it’s really challenging and I’m learning alot about artistic processes.
Oliver: Do you have any advice for students who are looking to take an art major in the future?
Chloe: Be prepared to work hard,art takes time and alot thought, in fact art homework has probably taken the most time to complete out of all my homeworks. sometimes people think that art is kind of a blow off class, which is not true. Also people sometimes have a hard time getting into art knowing they may not make alot of money, but we have alumni come into our classes all the time and they do alot of stuff, they do what they love and ALOT of it. They get to become successful by really exploring and engaging themselves in what they love to do. Which is really really awesome.
MS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
BY RACHEL JANNEY
Have you ever seen those ancient photographs of dusty sepia or faded black and white print? Ones where people are dressed in the oddest of fashions and performing the obscurest of stunts? Photos that, in our day and age, would be immediately dismissed as fake; something Photoshopped and altered in order to look like something from a circus act. Yet despite our instinct to call it a sham, we find something rather peculiar about these photographs. Who were these people? What were they like? And why on Earth aren’t that girl’s feet touching the ground? These very same questions inspired Ransom Riggs to write the Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy.
Throughout the novel, Riggs implants over a dozen bizarre photographs; usually after introducing another loveable yet incredibly peculiar child from Ms. Peregrine’s home. These photographs serve more than just a visual depiction of these characters. They almost, in a sense, make them life-like. These photographs were of actual individuals from some time long ago in different parts of the world, and yet after years of decay, their stories have been lost. Riggs beautifully resurrects these photos and gives them life one again.
I came across this series while scrolling through Amazon for the latest “must reads”. Of course, there were novels written by John Green, Neil Gaiman, and other renowned authors, but I was looking for something new; something that would both captivate me and horrify me to a point I’d find myself fighting against my will to put the book down and get some sleep.
The beginning of the novel, as with many other young adult fiction novels, pales compared to the rest of story. However, it’s rather unfair to compare the appetizer to the main meal now, isn’t it? I digress, the first of the trilogy takes us through the life of the 16 year old Jacob Portman; the son of the owner of a multimillion dollar pharmacy chain who’s social life and ambitions were, to say the least, less than extraordinary. We learn of his grandfather, an odd sort of fellow who keeps a treasure trove of oddity pictures as well as a stockade of firearms to take down the mysterious thing that he insists is out to get him. The series of events that take place since then: SPOILER the passing of the beloved grandfather, the monster that chased Jacob to near insanity, and the letter written to Jacob’s grandfather 15 years ago by a woman no one has seen since a bombing raid in WWII. But trudge through the rollercoaster ride of twists and turns in the beginning and you will find yourself in the strangest of worlds comprised of the most peculiar of characters.
Usually young adult novels generally circulate around a small handful of characters who play a significant role in the plot’s development. Granted there may be other, smaller characters who pipe in every now and then, but who could also be omitted without causing major rifts in the story. This, is not how Riggs treats his characters. Each of the nine peculiar children are introduced to Jacob in unique fashions, and each of them interact with him in some sort of way. It is no secret that Emma, the fiery teenager and oldest of the peculiars, would play a main part in the story. However other children: Hugh the bee keeper, Bronwyn the buff, and Millard who sports the best cosplay of the Invisible Man, have their fair share of the spotlight as their world is threatened by Hollowgasts, who I can only describe as a creature only conjured by the twisted minds on CreepyPasta, but I digress. If you like the paranormal, action/adventure, and just the slightest touch of romance, I guarantee this book will satisfy your needs.
THE WIND UP BIRD CHRONICLES
BY OLIVER DAVIS
Have you ever had an out of body experience? Experienced a strangely placed feeling of deja vu? How about when you visit a quiet spot and have inexplicable flashes of tranquility and timelessness? Well, Haruki Murakami’s The Wind Up Bird Chronicles is essentially the culmination of all those ethereal experiences you’ve ever had rolled into a fantastic journey for love and understanding. Through the use of magic realms, quirky characters, and bizarre encounters, Murakami’s work explores what makes us human.
Reading The Wind Up Bird Chronicles is much akin to embarking on a quiet boat ride into the uncharted waters of the soul. The book begins deceptively ordinarily, with our main character, Toru Okada, out of a job and without ambition, searching for his missing cat. From there, the story slowly spirals into the fantastic as Toru’s search brings him to encounter a pair of whimsical psychic twins, a teenage girl who’s obsessed with death, a mysterious phone-sex operator, and into an old neighborhood house with a tragic past and a gateway to the dream world within its well. As Toru progresses through these encounters, the shrouded personal struggles between him and his wife, Kumiko, as well as their failing efforts to keep their marriage alive, are slowly brought to light.
One day, Toru wakes up to find that Kumiko has mysteriously disappeared without warning and from here, the story enters the rapids of the bizarre and fantastic. Toru’s quest to find his cat evolves into a full blown mission to rekindle his marriage and figure out whether human beings are really able to understand each other. This mission of Toru’s, leads him to discover a whole realm of fantastic oddities ( in addition to the ones already mentioned) including WW 2 veterans who can tell the future, dream sequences that span time and individuals, and pair of clothes designers who practice soothe saying on the side. However that’s not all, in order to Kumiko back, Toru has to go up against the biggest nemesis he has ever encountered, his brother-in-law, Noboru Wataya.
Kumiko’s family shares an ominous secret, within their lineage lies a mysterious and dark power, a power that in the wrong hands gives the user horrific control over others. With a mind tortured by childhood and enormous power in hand, Noboru will stop at nothing to not only keep Toru away from Kumiko, but also to encompass the entirety of Japan and possibly the world within his will. Faced with this indomitable threat, Toru’s to overcome is to use his experiences of self-discovery within his dreams and the relationships he builds with others, in order find the emotional and mental fortitude necessary to resist Noboru’s soul rendering will and get Kumiko back. The novel beautifully captures Toru’s adventure to find whether or not two people can learn to really understand each other in beautiful and brilliant detail that makes the novel a joy to read.
It’s impossible to sing the praises of The Wind Up Bird Chronicles without talking about its author, Haruki Murakami. A man of unique sensibilities, born in Post WW2 era Kyoto, Japan, Haruki Murakami was raised by bibliophiles and surrounded by American and English literature. Spurred on by the love of stories that his upbringing provided, he later went on to study drama, work at record store, become a marathon runner, and open a coffeehouse as well as a jazz bar. Anything that would acquaint him with interesting experiences and new stories. Citing much of these experiences as his inspiration, Murakami draws from his multi-faceted past in order to infuse his works with a very intimate and colorful composition. This intimacy manifests in the way Murakami lovingly describes every detail of his work and explores its grander significance to the story. His characters too, have their quirks explored and their personas fleshed out. To put simply, Murakami loves what he does and the reader can feel that love through this work.
In summation, there is nothing quite like The Wind Up Bird Chronicles. It’s surreal story of a man seeking love and the true meaning of understanding is a compelling original tale as well as a testament to the power of literature to explore the human persona. For those looking for something philosophical, full of flair, lovingly crafted, or just plain different, then I cannot recommend enough Haruki Murakami’s The Wind Up Bird Chronicles.