Film as a Subversive Art (1974) by Amos Vogel

A fantastic resource, one I’ll enjoy returning to many times. As is, I’ve learned a lot from the lines of thinking Vogel proposes, and the connections he draws between various cinematic concepts and works, but lack familiarity with a lot of the specifics works themselves…I look forward to a reread where I try and track…

King Lear (1606) by William Shakespeare

A timeless tale of renunciation and insanity. How mad is it for a play to muse over the powerlessness and ineffectiveness of language? But that’s how King Lear begins, with Cordelia’s refusal to bandy about words for the sake of it (”Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave / my heart into my mouth”), for…

The Village of Stepanchikovo (1859) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Bit toothless and rote for Dostoyevsky, though I appreciate why he’d be wary at this time of his writing life. Some of the social farce works, but it lacks Dostoyevsky’s usual pathos. There’s arguably some development of archetypes Dostoyevsky is honing here, but all the rug-pulling dulls much consistent development. Enjoyable enough, but inessential. Three…

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” exhibits nearly all of Phillip K. Dick’s pet themes (existential terror in the wake of doubting the validity of reality, a society of oppressive government and over-reaching corporations where people are dehumanised, bizarre techno-spiritual elements touching on altered levels of consciousness and reality, etc.). It does so certainly in…

It (1986) by Stephen King

“It” feels like a very definitive statement by King, a very clear representation of his style, who he is, and what’s he’s about. The fascination with coming-of-age stories of young children, particularly in the 1950s (like The Body / Stand By Me), the sick underbellies of evil towns usually in Maine (tonnes and tonnes of…

The Gambler and Other Stories (1867-1877) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

An excellent collection of some excellent stories. There’s some measure of unity between how the stories are structured together (like two consecutive stories featuring suicide), but for the most part it is just “The Gambler” surrounded by unrelated short stories and novellas. But what stories they are! Four spins of roulette, and a revolver. WHITE…

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (1877) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A captivating short story encapsulating a lot of Dostoyevsky’s specific Christian worldview. Dostoyevsky pushes the fantastical elements here more than he usually does, to great effect. Some sections almost resound with science-fiction imagery, being read these days at least, but the theology and morality behind the story really are the driving forces. The prose in…