“First as Tragedy, Then as Tragedy: on Christian Petzold’s ‘Transit’” by Oscar Mardell

They say about this land that the projectiles of the last war unearthed the projectiles of the one before. – Anna Seghers, The Seventh Cross (trans. Margot Bettauer Dembo) But war, of course, consists not only of projectiles but of peripatetics: every legion of soldiers produces another of refugees. And few have been more sensitive to this facet of conflict than Seghers herself, whose 1944 novel Transit showed that ‘war’ is not merely ‘Hell’ but Purgatory also, not just ‘The End’ for the deployed but a ghastly intermediary for the displaced – whom it condemns to wander indefinitely, and to … Continue reading “First as Tragedy, Then as Tragedy: on Christian Petzold’s ‘Transit’” by Oscar Mardell

“Arundhati Roy’s ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’: The Worlding of Queer Lives Under Neoliberalism” by Mauve Perle Tahat

“’You’ve already been to my funeral. You’ve already laid flowers at my grave. What more can they do to me? I’m a shadow at high noon. I don’t exist.’The last time she met him he said something to her, casually, jokingly, but with heartbreak in his eyes. It made her blood freeze. ‘These days in Kashmir, you can be killed for surviving.’ In battle, Musa told Tilo, enemies can’t break your spirit, only friends can.” The Ministry of the Utmost Happiness  Chapter 8: The Tenant (273) My curiosity always prompts me to investigate what other people are saying about the … Continue reading “Arundhati Roy’s ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’: The Worlding of Queer Lives Under Neoliberalism” by Mauve Perle Tahat

“Ghost Writing: Carceral Legacies, Haunted Bodies and Spaces” by Mauve Perle Tahat

One of the most terrifying ghost stories the U.S. has is incarceration. The prison is a haunted grotto. Prisons and prisoners are haunted by traumas caused by white supremacy. People admitted to these spectral spaces are part of its phenomenological architecture. When prisoners leave they are forever escorted by phantasmal histories. Most tangibly they will be cursed by restrictions like probation, employment and housing discrimination, voter suppression; the philosophical underpinnings of the prison itself are part of this ghost story. Prisoners, then, become ghosts themselves, observing society without a place in it, destined to float around disembodied until something sets … Continue reading “Ghost Writing: Carceral Legacies, Haunted Bodies and Spaces” by Mauve Perle Tahat

“The Transfer” by Julie Rea

Hannah’s husband, David, was watching a live interview of the deceased creator of Transference. “Hey,” Hannah said, her long, red, threaded-with-grey hair braided close to her head. She collapsed onto the couch, tired after a day of teaching. “Oh, right,” she said of the interview. “I heard that she died.” “Yep,” said David, scratching his beard. Although Dr. Jimenez was dead and had Transferred in her eighties after becoming terminally ill, she appeared on the monitor in the news studio as a deeply tanned woman in perhaps in her forties. Dr. Jimenez’s daughter, actually in the studio and looking like … Continue reading “The Transfer” by Julie Rea