Hogmanay in Edinburgh

While the short glimpse we caught of the city through the tram windows at night-time was enchanting, walking through Edinburgh in daylight was magical. Below the skyline-dominating castle, the Old Town whisks you back to Medieval times with its gothic cathedrals, underground vaults, winding cobbled lanes a-la-Diagon Alley, and brick the colour of the plague. Within and around the Old Town are several beautiful, classically inspired buildings, that gave Edinburgh the nickname ‘Athens of the North’. Literally every corner you turn is a photo opportunity or the location of some significant historical event, and all of it is stunning – as well as more than slightly surreal.

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Dreams Review

There was an interview on RNZ that caught my attention.  Auckland composer Claire Cowan talked about the group she’d founded, Blackbird Ensemble and their upcoming show ‘Dreams’ at the Auckland Cabaret Festival.  Along with some of the Ensemble members, Claire explained what Cabaret actually was (which I’d always envisioned as something in-between burlesque and drag) … Continue reading Dreams Review

The Great Gatsby Through a Marxist Literary Criticism Lens

Gatsby has certainly worked hard in his life, and is more self-invented than any other character in the book. He knew from a young age that he wanted to be rich, and did whatever it took to achieve this. When he moved up from his ‘despicable’ previous work as a janitor, clam digger and salmon fisher to work for Dan Cody on his yacht, he is taking his first step up the rungs of classes. To Gatsby, Cody’s yacht ‘represented all the beauty and glamour in the world.’ He saw the class above him with rose-tinted glasses, as well as his love interest, Daisy, but neither of the two are as wonderful as he imagines them to be. No one in ‘The Great Gatsby’ is really happy in their class; they either want to become richer and move up a class, or if they are one of the few in the very top order, like Daisy, they see the ‘awfulness’ of everything. This lines up with the Marxist idea that life is a continuous struggle between the bourgeois and the proletariat .