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Lily Nilipour
Lily Nilipour is the Vol. 259 Reads desk editor for Arts & Life and an English major on a gap year. She loves to talk modernism — especially Virginia Woolf — digital humanities and literary magazines. Contact her at lnilipour 'at'

Classics for quarantine: Reading in Michel de Montaigne’s ‘Essays’

But without classes, close reading itself became absent, and I soon realized that it wasn’t necessarily literature itself that sustains me — it must also include the subsequent act of analysis. For when we make sense of what we read, we are making sense of our own lives — and in a time like this, when the world around us often doesn’t make sense, the act of sense-making becomes even more crucial.

Classics for quarantine: Immobility in ‘Molloy’

Rather than as an interrogation of free will, we may interpret this question literally these days as a question of freedom versus confinement. “Can it be we are not free?” feels like an eloquent rephrasing of the “What do you mean I can’t go outside?” that accompanied the first waves of COVID-19.

Spooky reads for Halloween in quarantine

In October, the year is waning. Time plays tricks on us in October: the daylight lessening, the nights “endless.” It is the month of hauntings too — of extended twilights and sudden changes in the wind. It marks the beginning of the period in which we recount the year that has passed us by. It is the time to remember.

Layli Long Soldier’s ‘Whereas’ complicates and exposes the language of resolution

“Look,” Layli Long Soldier commands us in the title of one of her poems in her book “Whereas.” When we follow her instructions, we see “the light/grass/body/whole/wholly moves,” and so on. This poem — with lines mostly consisting of one or two words and immense amounts of space between each line, while spanning over three pages — is jagged when I read it. I find myself stumbling over each line, unable to put together the image without extreme focus. I end up staring at these otherwise familiar words until they make sense. “Look,” Long Soldier commands. “I’m trying,” I gasp. “Really, really hard.”

Lasting notes from National Poetry Month

To celebrate the close of National Poetry Month, Reads writers gathered to rhapsodize on some of their favorite poems. Katherine Silk, Staff Writer “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth When I visited Williamsburg, Virginia, over spring break with a friend, one of the highlights for me included exclaiming in delight as I spotted patches of bright yellow…
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