This week, faculty member M. Milks has two new review essays for us to consider. The first is a look at the 2015 film The Fits published in Fanzine, where M. invokes Federico García Lorca’s idea of duende. The second is a review at 4 Columns of the novel Memoirs of a Polar Bear, by Yoko Tawada. Here M. writes:
Few animals have captivated the world like Knut, the young polar bear rejected by his mother and raised by a human surrogate in the Berlin Zoo. Considered something of a miracle due to the improbability of his survival under these conditions, Knut quickly became a global celebrity, and in 2007, when he was not yet a year old, he landed the cover story of the German edition of Vanity Fair: a piece titled “I, Knut—A World Star from Germany.” In Memoirs of a Polar Bear, her latest book translated into English, Japanese-German writer Yoko Tawada assumes a similar faux-autobiographical perspective, and imagines, with persuasive complexity, the interior lives of not only Knut, but two of his forebears. Both a novel of ideas and Knut fan fiction, Memoirs of a Polar Bear is as densely philosophical as it is deliciously absurd, and as playful as it is poignant.