Where James Joyce Fails, Neil Gaiman Prevails

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A James Joyce art doll

A James Joyce art doll by MEDIODESCOCIDO. Some rights reserved.

A lot of people are probably going to hate me for this, but let’s have at it anyway:

No writer is perfect. Not even James Joyce.

I’ve been struggling to finish Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” for a while now. To be precise, it was the 5th of December, 2012, when my Modernism Professor assigned it as a compulsory read. (I neither finished the course nor obtained a degree in English Literature; I had to get real and find employment.)

It’s not that “Portrait” is extremely difficult, it’s just— incredibly boring. I can never bring myself to care about Stephen Dedalus, let alone what happens to him—there has not been one single event in Joyce’s bildungsroman that triggered my interest to know more. It’s like reading into the life of someone unknown, to whom I have no connection whatsoever.

There’s one other reason I have such a difficult time enjoying the novel: Continue reading

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Lawless: Movie Review

Lawless poster

When I saw Shia LaBeouf’s name I lowered my expectations. It’s just that I still associate him with Transformers, although I did like his performance in “New York, I Love You”. Fortunately, I was wrong.

The acting was so good, all the characters felt real. I particularly liked Guy Pearce as “Special” Deputy Charley Rakes, who brought a certain flair and oddity to the movie. He was both entertaining and disgusting to watch at the same time. To describe him, “loathsome” would be an understatement. Continue reading

Chronicle of My Mother: Movie Review

chronicle of my mother

Koji Yakusho and Kiki Kirin

On the plane from Indonesia back to Belgium, I watched “Chronicle of My Mother”. What an incredible movie. Guaranteed smiles and tears throughout, this movie captures the Japanese family values of the 60’s, values that, in the filmmaker’s opinion, might now be lost. Continue reading