ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends May 2021: What to Read, Watch, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Lily Nilipour, Intern: One of the things I have most missed during this pandemic is, surprisingly, attending lectures. Before the advent of the Zoom classroom, I never realized how much I found the lecture hall a respite from the rest of daily life: the murmur of my classmates filing in and filling the rows of seats, the air conditioner blasting (or not on at all), the shuffling of notebook paper. And then, the lecture itself—for an hour or so, a singular voice carrying itself through the still air, accompanied by clicking keyboards and scratching pens. This was not the reason […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends April 2021: What to Read, Watch, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Owen Torrey, Intern: When the Nederlands Dans Theater 2 last toured through the city where I live, it was a late winter evening two years ago. I took the subway out from campus and arrived at an old theatre downtown, where the contemporary dance company presented several short works from their repertoire. At one point, dancers emerged on-stage to a doo-wop song, as small slips of paper fell from the auditorium’s high ceiling. A few collected in my lap, then piled around my shoes. Seeing my neighbor unfold hers and smile, I knelt to grab one. In tiny bold letters, […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends March 2021: What to Read & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Lily Nilipour, Intern: Throughout the sustained isolation of this pandemic, we have learned much about our personal relationships to each other—to those close to us, to our groups and communities, and to society at large. It has been a time of great tragedy, on many fronts, but we have also seen people come together in extraordinary ways. In searching for ways to process the events of the past year, I have found myself turning to Annie Dillard’s For the Time Being for some wisdom. For the Time Being is a profound study of a paradox: the importance we place on […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends February 2021: What to Watch & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

2021 is well under way as we nearly bid ‘farewell’ to February. Of course, we wouldn’t let the month pass without a small treasure trove of media for our readers to potentially enjoy. With that in mind, we present our Staff Recommends, February ’21 edition: Kyubin Kim, Intern: Since the film’s premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, it is not an exaggeration for me to say that I’d been waiting all year for the public release of Minari. I religiously followed production studio A24’s social media updates, read interviews with director Lee Isaac Chung, and even DM’ed actor Steven […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends January 2021: What to Read, Watch, & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

A new year means new media! So let’s leave 2020 in the rearview and look ahead to this year’s round of books to read, films to watch, and other content to enjoy. With that in mind, we present January’s round of Staff Recommends: Lily Nilipour, Intern: For me, reading Andre Breton’s work always feels like living in a dream. Such is the space he and his co-author Philippe Soupault create in The Magnetic Fields, newly translated into English by Charlotte Mandell. People, sounds, and objects float murkily by, a bit languidly, but are then gone in a moment. Like the […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends December 2020: What to Read, Watch, & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Colton Alstatt, Intern: I was lucky enough to write a review for the ZYZZYVA blog on my favorite novel of the year, Charlie Kaufman’s Antkind. Few days pass where I do not think about some wild scene, iconoclastic insight, or odd character from the book. It is a long read but, if you are fortunate enough to have some time off work this holiday season, a worthwhile one. The School of Life YouTube channel was notable for me, too. It produced animated video essays on art history, self-improvement, and relationship psychology with subversive insights that I have not heard anywhere […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends November 2020: What to Read, Watch, & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

We hope our readers have a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving this year; and just in case you’re in need of some light reading after a heavy meal, we’ve got you covered with a bevy of content in this month’s Staff Recommends. So let’s get cracking: Corinne Leong, Intern: Late November in Vermont: the trees are free of leaves, the skies grey with incoming winter. Richard Papen, a transfer student from a rural town in Central California, has begun studying Classics at Hampden College alongside a cohort of enigmatic and seemingly superior characters.  I’ve always associated Donna Tartt with her more […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends October 2020: What to Read, Watch, & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

As October draws to an end, it’s difficult to imagine what form Halloween will take in this era of social distancing (and a tad difficult to focus on such festivities with Election Day looming), which might be why we’re forgoing our usual brand of holiday-themed staff picks. But that doesn’t mean we’re lacking in reading and viewing material to recommend this month—far from it!—so without further ado: Corinne Leong, Intern: I knew Luca Guadagnino’s new miniseries was for me the moment the main character began to wax lyrical about Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds while lying in a skiff in […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends September 2020: What to Read, Watch, & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Is it just us or was this September one of those ‘blink-and-you-missed-it’ kind of months? Ah, but it’s so hard to tell what time means anymore in 2020. We’re still keeping busy, however, which is why we’re back with our regularly scheduled Staff Picks in case you’re looking for something to listen to, read, or more: Bella Davis, Intern: Lately, it’s been hard for me to think about anything other than collapse. The election is a little over a month away and the President of the United States has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends August 2020: What to Read, Watch, & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

As this particularly unusual summer winds to a close, much of California is grappling with dangerous wildfires (here’s a good resource if you’re looking to help out). We hope our readers are continuing to stay safe. As we find ourselves largely confined indoors due to the pandemic and bad air quality, we’re back with another round of Staff Picks to offer some recommended listening, reading, and more: Cade Johnson, Intern: In light of more than 100,000 people across California evacuating this month due to wildfires, and hazardous weather conditions making fires more frequent and more widespread, an important podcast series […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends July 2020: What to Read, Watch, & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

We think you’ll agree summer hasn’t quite felt like summer this year, but if you’re staying inside, that means you’re staying safe, and we’ve got you covered with plenty of Staff Picks to keep you entertained while you while away the hours: Jesse Bedayn, Intern: Derek Black was the godson of the David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the KKK—at least, that’s where Eli Saslow’s utterly riveting book, Rising Out of Hatred, begins. The son of Don Black, founder of the largest white nationalist website, Stormfront.org, Derek was inculcated in white nationalism, becoming heir to the movement. After starting […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends June 2020: What to Read, Watch, & Listen to

by ZYZZYVA Staff

The month of June has been one of the most tumultuous months of 2020—and that’s saying something. You’ll find some of the Staff Recommends in this installment touch on some relevant themes, including a seminal film from Spike Lee. We also have some lighter fare on the docket for those who might be searching for momentary escapism. So without further ado: Cade Johnson, Intern: I recently watched Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing after a friend recommended it to me. I had heard about this film on one other occasion from an episode of a New York Times podcast, “Still […]

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