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Sunday Morning Paper: why we write about witches


Why We Write About (October 3, 2016)

When we write witches into our stories, that is what we’re writing about: power. When we write witches, we are writing about our expectations of women, and what we hope—and fear—they would do if they had access to power. Fictional witches act as ciphers that help us understand something that seems at once mysterious and brilliant and sinister: a woman’s ultimate, unlimited potential… realized.

Rethinking Yuri: How Lesbian Mangaka Return the Genre to its RootsThe Mary Sue (October 6, 2016)

But even though mainstream yuri deals with intimate relationships between women, and even though many of these series have explicitly explored same-gender relationships in recent years, it’s hard to feel like yuri stories are written for me. Their take on gay life feels fantastical, almost dreamlike. Even when things fall apart, they do so in ways that are big and tragic.

Order force: the grammar rule we all obey without realisingThe Guardian (September 13, 2016)

The rule is that multiple adjectives are always ranked accordingly: opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material, purpose. Unlike many laws of grammar or syntax, this one is virtually inviolable, even in informal speech. You simply can’t say My Greek Fat Big Wedding, or leather walking brown boots. And yet until last week, I had no idea such a rule existed.

Fiction pick of the week:
If You Were a Dinosaur, My LoveApex Magazine (Issue 46)

If you were a dinosaur, my love, then nothing could break you, and if nothing could break you, then nothing could break me. I would bloom into the most beautiful flower. I would stretch joyfully toward the sun. I’d trust in your teeth and talons to keep you/me/us safe now and forever.

Poetry pick of the week:
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Collected Poems 1909-1962

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

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