or “in search of the Holy Grail”

“… And as she entered, on their tail,

And bearing in her hands the grail,

So great a brightness shone around…”

The following lines, written by de Troyes (2019, lines 3206–3208), allude to Perceval’s search for the Grail, a mystical object miraculously capable of providing unbounded felicity. Future generations began interpreting this Arthurian myth as a quest for an unachievable ideal, through which the sacred verity of its impossibility dawns along the horizon of enlightenment. Despite this fable’s literary domain, can its moral still be applied in the realm of politics?

The continuous…


“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past” (1984, p. 40).

It can be argued that Orwellian narrative appears multifaceted, projecting a general critique towards the communist ideals through the hyperbolised prism of a dormant future. However, the concept of the omnipresent systemic control embodies one of the most prominent societal threats of today. Despite the technological advances which led to the greater socio-economic interconnectivity, society became operated by the incarnation of the Big Brother in the form of the media. …


“When you look at a piece of delicately spun glass you think of two things: how beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken.”

The following lines, written by Tennessee Williams (1996, xviii) in the play “The Glass Menagerie”, allude to the fragility of an individual’s perception of reality, where the paradigm of the cognitive process embodying one’s belief system can easily be shattered by an external force. Through such a framework, Williams focuses on critiquing the degrading society possessed by the demon of an American dream. …


Who are we but glass figurines which void is encapsulated by the presence of memories which define our existence?

“When you look at a piece of delicately spun glass you think of two things: how beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken.” — Tennessee Williams

Who are we but glass figurines which void is encapsulated by the presence of memories which define our existence? But what happens when an internal parasite, which gradually shatters the layers of mental activity, initiates fractures in our wholesomeness? Then, we start attempting to find in motion what was lost in space.

Did Florian Zeller make a good film?

At first glance, “The Father” permeates an impression of ostentatious filmmaking forwarded towards the award season. Dementia and Alzheimer’s…


Introduction

“Two-faced Janus, god of Time!

Be my Phoebus while I rhyme”

(Swift, 1726)

The following lines incorporate the allusion to the God of Janus, who in Rome mythology represented a gatekeeper between life and death. Throughout time, the notion of Janus became embedded within linguistics as a metaphor of duality — the incessant struggle between antonymous concepts amongst different institutions. Particularly, if the aperture of politics is widened by applying the Janus myth, the duality between globalisation and populism can be observed, with the ‘populist face’ of contemporaneity condemning the fallacies of the globalizationist past.

According to Kyle & Mayer…


or “The Titanomachy of Paradigms”

“So they, with bitter wrath, were fighting continually with one another… for ten full years.”

The following lines, introduced by Hesiod (700 BC, line 617) in his epic “Theogony”, allude to the Titanomachy, in other words, ‘Titan War’ between old and new gods. The future generations started interpreting this myth as a subset of metaphorical doctrines utilised to depict human nature’s metaphysical laws, with the Titanomachy incarnating the inevitability of evolution. Nonetheless, can such a moral be applied in the political sphere, and particularly in the realm of international relations?

One of the prevalent features…


Exposition

“Such duty as the subject owes the prince,

Even such a woman oweth to her husband.”

The following lines were introduced by Shakespeare (2014, p.173) in his comedy “The Taming of the Shrew”. The narrative resembles the socio-economic traditions of the time marked by the inherent sexism and intrinsic absence of gender equality, as the women were seen as ‘subjects’ obedient to a male-dominated society. The protagonist of Katherina falls under the gravity of the cultural conditioning, hence becoming ‘tamed’ through the process of gender identity demolition. Nowadays, the Shakespearean piece falls under the category of the chauvinistic past and…


Whiteness provided a “glass floor below which the white citizen could see but never fall”

Political scientist, Joel Olson, in his article expressed a resonating point of view on the optimal condition for success in the US, as he argued that Whiteness provided a

“glass floor below which the white citizen could see but never fall” (p. 708).

This article was published in 2008, however, Olson’s words agonizingly pulsate in the veins of the current polarized social organism.

It can be argued that Olson’s interpretation of the racial inequality may seem populist, with a clear appeal to the marginalized minorities. Nevertheless, in 2016, the median White family net worth was $171,000, whereas Black family shareholders’…


To what extent does “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” adhere to Marxist genre theory?

Marxist criticism literature explores the issue of social class and power and the treatment of lower-class people (Lisman, 1988, p.73). Within the novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, written in 1962, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn encompasses Marxist genre theory to express his socio-political criticism against the Stalinist era by portraying the social differences within the labour camp with the emphasis on the prisoners’ lives. The novel depicts one day in the life of the GULAG camp prisoner Ivan Denisovich Shukhov accentuating the atrocities of the prisoner’s life, depicting the division of power within a society and the treatment of…


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde

If by the very definition, identity is the notion of being self-conscious of your individuality, then why do social constraints frame our opinions of selfhood? Why do we need to be compared on the scale of an optimal ”appropriateness” to embrace our uniqueness?

Did Brandon Cronenberg make a good film?

In general, the work of Brandon Cronenberg epitomizes a visionary revolution. Each frame is verified to the ferula of sublimity, the colours were selected following the palette, and if blood splatters occur — they must be on a white background: fashionable sneakers or a white shirt. If the filmography of Cronenberg Sr. gave birth to its own…

Kirill Bedenkov

PIR student at University College London

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