A Conversation with Charlotte Lieberman

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Notes from 21 South Street staff writer, Kiara Barrow ’16, talked with Advocate alum, Charlotte Lieberman ’13, to discuss her recent article in Cosmopolitan on college dating. In the story, Lieberman describes the symptoms and disease of a pervasive “whoever-cares-less-wins” paradigm, offering an analysis that includes anecdotal, statistical, and literature-based research. In this interview, Lieberman discusses her writing process, her Harvard experiences, and her own strategies for navigating diverse interests and opportunities as a young professional writer.

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A Conversation with Elise Adibi

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In the basement of Byerly Hall in the Radcliffe Yard, Elise Adibi, a New York-based artist whose works have been exhibited throughout the United States, makes metabolic paintings that challenge the boundaries of the visual. Moving from oil paint and linseed oil, she combines natural plant oil, urine, gold, copper and graphite to generate formally engaging, conceptually stimulating work.

In its Fall 2013 issue, The Harvard Advocate published one of her Aromatherapy paintings – paintings that are ephemeral, amorphous in shape and exude elegant aroma. Harry Choi ’16 had a conversation with Adibi about her work, in the studio that was once occupied by Amy Sillman — one of her former teachers — but now smells of jasmine, sandalwood and lavender.

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TRIAL: Panel

On Saturday, March 1st, The Harvard Advocate hosted a launch event for its winter issue, “Trial,” at the Cabinet Magazine event space in Brooklyn. As part of the event, the Advocate brought together a group of writers and critics for a panel, moderated by New Yorker staff writer and Advocate trustee D.T. Max. Loosely organized around the “snark” versus “smarm” debate, the panel also touched on the role of the critic in an age of Twitter and the writings of W.H. Auden, among other timely topics. 

Panel participants: Casey Cep, Ruth Franklin, Adam Kirsch, Tom Scocca, A.O. Scott 

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TRIAL: A Conversation with Kathryn Davis

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On February 13, Advocate alumnus and contributor Patrick Lauppe conducted an interview with American novelist Kathryn Davis. An abridged transcript of their conversation appears below. Davis is the author of seven novels, including Duplex, which was published by Graywolf Press in September. You can find “The January Tunnel,” a chapter of her upcoming novel, in the Advocate’s latest issue, TRIAL.

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TRIAL: Aniseed in sand

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The Harvard Advocate is proud to announce the upcoming launch of the TRIAL issue! For the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of interviews, recordings, and essays highlighting works by our undergraduate writers and professional contributors featured in TRIAL. Notes from 21 South St. readers, look forward to an exciting taste of what will be in this issue. 

Below, listen to Zoë Hitzig ’15, outgoing publisher, reading her poem, “Aniseed in sand,” which is published in this edition of the magazine. After making this recording, Zoë and Kevin Hong had an in-depth discussion about the piece; an abridged transcript of the interview is published here. You can subscribe to The Harvard Advocate here

–Moeko Fujii ’15

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Marginalia: Listening to “The Snow Man”

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The advent of winter always brings Wallace Stevens’s “The Snow Man” to mind. Reading it this time around, I have been fascinated by the relationship between the poem’s lines and their surrounding space. Just as Stevens directs our attention toward the silence that accompanies the snowy season, an emptiness that asserts itself in its negativity, so he asks us to listen more closely to the “stuff” before and after each line and stanza.

Stanza, in Italian, means “room.” In “The Snow Man,” Stevens gives us five rooms; each room has its own white space around it, its own silence. Yet the poet does not close the door at the end of each stanza — rather, a single sentence runs through every room, a draft through an old house. There is a unique tension in this poem, one that pits pause against flow. The reader, straining to bridge one clause with the next, is resisted by a “nothing that is.”

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