Thoughts

Mediocrity

Writing
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I’m 34. I have expe­ri­ence, friends, and nice things. I’ve been to places and met peo­ple. And yet, I have achieved noth­ing.

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Scream of a Butterfly

Artists
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The weeks pri­or to my trip to India, I col­lab­o­rat­ed with Layal El Ghazirie on her debut book صرخة فراشه (Scream of a Butterfly). In her col­lec­tion of 25 short sto­ries, para­bles, and anec­dotes, the promis­ing young Lebanese author writes about mar­riage from the point of view of a 21 year old girl liv­ing in a soci­ety that, when it comes to the issue, suf­fers a cri­sis of iden­ti­ty.

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Why I Love Kanji

Tokyo
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While my Japanese flu­en­cy was increas­ing almost by the hour, I stub­born­ly refused to do my kan­ji home­work. And in the kan­ji sec­tions of my exams, I’d just draw smi­leys and oth­er doo­dles in the blanks where the let­ters were sup­posed to go. However, all that changed when I dis­cov­ered the secret.

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Here we are now, entertain us.

Writing
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The line does hold some sig­nif­i­cance for me. It sug­gests a more press­ing demand: “You say this is the most fab­u­lous din­ner par­ty in town, so here we are now, enter­tain us, show us what you’ve got, what all the fuss is about, the hoopla, the brag­ging and hype, the rea­son we had to leave every­thing else and come here.”

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Notes on Composition

Photography
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This lec­ture intro­duces visu­al com­po­si­tion by draw­ing exam­ples from sev­er­al influ­en­tial pho­tog­ra­phers past and present. I explain that the rules of com­po­si­tion are only called that for want of a bet­ter phrase, and am the first to insist that there are no rules — mere­ly rules of thumb, a loose set of prin­ci­ples to fall back on, or bet­ter to engage with and chal­lenge.

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Breaking the Law

Artists
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When I was in London last sum­mer, Corinne and I went to see Jude Law play Hamlet at Wyndham’s Theater on Charing Cross Road. Even though the shows were booked sol­id until the end of the play’s four-month run, we saun­tered in like we owned the place and grabbed the last two tick­ets five min­utes before the mati­nee show began.

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