May 2016 Archways

Selected Shorts

Dan Torday
Associate Professor and Director of Creative Writing
From the short story Nate Gertzman Draws the Internet (Tin House, 67)

During a particularly easy period for things unrelated to the complicated business of baby-making, a YouTube series I’d started, called Nate Draws the Internet, took off. We didn’t have happiness, my wife and I, we didn’t have certainty—but we had money for the first time. I walked around with David Byrne’s voice in my head warbling, I’ve got money now, I’ve got money now. The money was simple: it arrived weekly in a PayPal account, then was direct deposited into checking so we could spend it on stuff, or on medical bills like the one coming if we had to terminate the pregnancy. The happiness wasn’t simple, as I say. It wasn’t around yet. It might never find us.

Elly Truitt
Associate Professor of History
From the essay Fantasy North (aeon.com)

Alongside the trolls of Frozen and the giants and White Walkers of Westeros, Vikings have taken a prominent place on the cultural stage. Since the start of the 21st century, major museum exhibits on early Scandinavian culture have appeared worldwide, from Washington, D.C. and Berlin to Suzhou in China…. Our current arctic reveries reflect the challenges of the moment. As the globe gets hotter and drier, the cold and flourishing northern landscape becomes even more appealing. Those troubled by increasing state authority, political graft and industrial ruin can find inspiration in the stories of the proud, uncorrupted rebels who inhabit the North. And for some, fantasies of strength and conquest become attractive in hostile political and economic conditions.

Clark McCauley
Professor of Psychology
From the article As Siblings Once Again Unite to Unleash Terror, Experts Ask What Drives Them (The New York Times)

What’s powerful about these pairs [of siblings involved in terrorist attacks] is that they increase capacity for doing damage but not the vulnerability to detection, because of the tightness of the tie. It’s a creative solution; you get more hands to help than a lone wolf, but the same kind of security.


Beyond All Repair

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This spring, Special Collections mounted an exhibition centered on FUBAR, an artist’s book by poet J.C. Todd and visual artist MaryAnn Miller, a resident book artist at Lafayette College. Titled “Beyond All Repair: Language and Vision,” the exhibition displayed the monoprints that formed the basis of the book’s pages and photo-documentation of the process of its creation.

Says Todd, who teaches in Bryn Mawr’s creative writing program, “My text for FUBAR is a hybrid sonnet/flash fiction whose central figure is a female physician and captain in the U.S. Air Force deployed in Iraq. The book’s materials include combat paper, which is made from uniforms shredded by the veterans who wore them.” Todd’s text is drawn from a sonnet sequence that was named a 2015 finalist for the Robert H. Winner Award of the Poetry Society of America.

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