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A Small Selection of Books and Poems I’ve Had the Pleasure of Reading

Devotion, Patti Smith

Devotion is a wonderfully literate journey into the creative process, fitting for any humanities majors who may be struggling with their own. Patti Smith is known for her powerful grasp on language interwoven with that of music. Along with alluring songs sharpening the blade that was the punk-rock movement in NYC, paintings and photographs frequently spoke of her various connections and relationships in the 60s and 70s. What shapes Devotion to be so spectacular is an unconventional approach, three parts marking a graceful liquidity of Smith’s passion for writing. The first section is easily one of the most transformative pieces I’ve read in a long time; painting brief blips of time, traveling through the foreign romanticism of Paris, and to cafes in Manhattan that cracks the shell of Smith’s universal question…”Why do we write? Because we cannot simply live.

The Hour of The Star, Clarice Lispector

Clarice Lispector, a spellbinding name that is only as magical as the written word that sparks from a soul like hers. What Lispector accomplishes in The Hour of the Star is otherworldly; probing the mind of a narrator who comes to us as both an author, an observer of his own crafted fiction, experiencing a next-level hatred for both these qualities. Kept in a revolving battle of a main character, this brilliant piece of work speaks about the connections between the audience, characters, narrators, readers. We are inexplicably forced to reevaluate the layers that constitute our identity, whether or not we can perceive ourselves to be normal, especially in relation to others, best described as “The Other.” The final book of Lispector before her death, it is a beautiful addition to the world of literature.

All That Remains, Sue Black

This remains to be an all-time classic of mine, constantly going back to reading sections of it at a time, never wavering in quality. It criticizes the western attitude towards the concept of death, connecting it to ideas of self-identity and philosophy in a way that is incredibly accessible. For those who express a more morbid interest in literature, this book is definitely one for the shelf.

Other brief things that I have read or that I am currently reading this month are Susan Sontag’s On Women, Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Written By Nariyah Gonzalez


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