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Some artistic recommendations for 2023
Hala Marouf, Staff Writer
With all the nerves that come with a new year, there also comes a beautiful, shared potential for creating and exploring more art, music, and everything in between. It’s been my resolution to read more books, explore new musical genres, create more works of art, and partake in new artistic endeavours. To make it a little easier to approach, I’ve curated these impactful and approachable works from all walks of media for you. Enjoy!
1. Richard Siken’s poem, ‘Self Portrait against Red Wallpaper’’
Short and widely available online, the softening advice of Siken’s self-portrait is an impactful read. With his stylistic hyper-realism, he wearily offers his insight into coping with life’s intangibles, tackling sadness, shame, love, and above all, the urge to give up. Those feelings are so undeniably human that it would feel wrong to hold this recommendation back from you. For maximum effect, play into the first-person perspective it’s written in. Read it out loud, read it to yourself, and be resolute in your conviction that you need to, as said by Siken, “Build a better sail.”
2. Emma Chamberlain’s podcast, Anything Goes – on Spotify & Apple Music
Podcasts can feel silly and unapproachable at first glance. Popular shows with borderline exploitative true crime and men with concerning opinions, make the genre a bit scary to approach. But as someone who only recently started getting back into listening to them while walking to class (which you should try by the way), I can vouch for Emma’s delivery. It is profound how she deconstructs her chosen topic of the week with great, comprehensive ingenuity. Also, the topics are actually interesting! Titles I recommend range from questions like ‘ignorance is bliss?’ and episodes simply tackling concepts like ‘nepotism’ and ‘mortality.’
3. Franz Kafka’s novella, The Metamorphosis
Long read by political theorists and highschoolers alike, the story of Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of Kafka’s short novella ‘The Metamorphosis’ has imprinted itself on culture since its publishing in 1915. It is sometimes ludicrous to think that Gregor’s overnight transformation into a big grotesque beetle has captured the literary sphere’s attention for well over a century. But it’s bled past the literary sphere into internet culture recently, as the poor bug has been reincarnated as a meme. You might recognize him from this popular illustration, lying on his back in bed:
I think the reason he’s maintained his popularity for so long is because this beetle body does a remarkable job at articulating the human condition. If you sometimes feel like a capsized beetle unable to get out of bed, this one’s for you.
4. The Garden’s song, ‘Egg’ – on Spotify & Apple Music
Funnily titled I know, but it makes the Garden an all more attractive musical duo. The experimental rock band, composed of twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, ask some hard-hitting questions in this song about personal growth. They conclude with a refreshingly gritty and unflinching statement that looks at fear and says: “I have myself, I straighten my back, advance forward, I won’t look back”.