Desperately Seeking Spoonerisms: The Decline of Word Play in Literature

“Spoonerism” may sound like a dirty word, but that’s only because it’s employed so rarely in contemporary literature that we’ve become unfamiliar with the term. Named after turn-of-the-20th-century Oxford University professor William Archibald Spooner, who was apt at muddling his words (e.g. meaning to say “Conquering Kings Their Titles Take” …

Froth on the Daydream and Mood Indigo: A Seamless Marriage

Michel Gondry’s penchant for the surreal has only increased since his debut, Human Nature, in 2001. While his second, arguably most iconic, feature, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, was written by Charlie Kaufman, his subsequent films have continued to augment in their dreamlike portrayals of romance. Although he has …

Jayne Mansfield: The Ultimate Symbol of the Meaning Behind Don DeLillo’s Underworld

Jayne Mansfield may very well have been one of the first emblems of life in a postmodern world. Thus, her strong presence throughout Don DeLillo’s historically sweeping Underworld is nothing if not natural (a strange word choice when alluding to Mansfield). Indeed, there are quite a few nods to major …

The Philosophy of Moving To the City and Thinking It’s Going to Solve Your Suburbia Problems, As Explained by High Fidelity

There’s a dangerous belief people who feel trapped in suburbia have: That if they leave for the city–whatever that nearest metropolitan city may be–their life is going to be so instantaneously improved that they’ll never again have to do anything involving effort to make it better again. This is a …

Just One More Doll: Why Jacqueline Susann Keeps Us Coming Back For More

She’s the undisputed queen of the “trash” novel (sorry Jackie Collins/Danielle Steele/Erica Jong). Whether the name Jacqueline Susann means something to you or not, her influence on the cultural paradigm shift of women in the 1960s and women in general is irrefutable. Her most illustrious work, Valley of the Dolls, …