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Wednesday
Apr232014

Get Ready for Jewelry Show and Tell at Wordsmith

Wordsmith finds common ground between jewelry and writing. The exhibition is set up and the zine is printed, but you're not out of chances to participate.

At tomorrow's opening reception at Magers and Quinn, we want you to bring your weirdest, most beautiful, most historied, most something piece of jewelry and tell us its story.

Now don't start wringing your hands over the fact that you purchase 100% of your jewelry as an afterthought in the checkout line of a fast fashion retailer. You chose that piece for a reason. Plus, no one said its story has to be nonfiction. This is an opportunity to give your trusty $5 studs the backstory they deserve.

Need some inspiration? Our staff decided to take the challenge.

Morgan:

How my Connemara marble earrings are like 50 Shades of Grey:

There are, supposedly, 40 shades of green in Connemara marble. That one's obvious. 

The Connemara marble earrings I bought in Ireland at the Cliffs of Mohr gift shop are the best impulse buy I've ever made. 50SoG is pretty much all about impulses.

Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey in the movie, is from Northern Ireland. The region of Connemara, where the marble is found, is in Western Ireland.

Did the characters of 50SoG ever do it on a marble slab? Probably.

Okay, so my earrings are nothing like erotica. But I'm obsessed with them, just like a lot of people are obsessed with the book.

Meher:

The first jewelry items I bought for myself that cost over ten dollars were these Brach Earrings from Nervous System's Algae line. According to their website, this line "…explores a range of botanical patterns created by systematically abstracting the cycles of growth and bifurcation seen in plants."

I don't know about that, but they remind me of the antlers of a very tiny stag, or of the veins running through a very tiny person's lungs. (That last one probably has something to do with the "Nervous System" name behind the jewelry.) Plus, the fact that I paid more for them than I've ever paid on jewelry means I feel like a super-classy lady whenever I wear them.

Alyssa:

­­­When I was 15 I found this owl necklace at Forever 21 and thought it made me unique, just like everyone else who shops at Forever 21.

I named it Oxford, as in Oxford the owl, because alliteration is cool and all owls should have pretentious names. Sometimes Oxford is mistaken for a dragon or a beaky Ron Swanson, but Oxford is most assuredly an owl.

A few months later, in my German class, we had to write and illustrate a children's book about animals to demonstrate that we could pretend to speak German. Naturally, I wrote mine about Oxford.

The plot went like this: All of the other animals hated Oxford because he was green. Then he met Penny, a purple owl. He fell in love with her, but then she left him. Oxford cried. The end.

Eventually, a second-grade class came to visit us, and we had to read our stories to the kids. I probably got away with the dark nature of mine because there aren't any second-graders in my hometown who can speak German. Even my teacher couldn't speak it.

At the end of the class, the kids went home with the books we made. Mine probably became shredded paper at the bottom of a hamster cage.

Twerps.

But hey, at least my necklace never became home furnishings for a rodent.

Holly:

I don't remember much about my great grandma Ev, but I know she was a sentimental proto-hoarder. One of the umpteen times the Red River flooded—the real bad one, I think, in 1997—my family drove to East Grand Forks to help her clean out her soggy, box-filled basement. While the adults worked, I gathered spoils. I came away with a few scarves and plastic bangles that Grandma Ev had sported in the '60s.

In the years since, Grandma Ev's accessories have disappeared one piece at a time, lost between bedrooms or houses or cities. At least twice I've watched the bangles break, once when some ham-fisted guy tried one on. I dismissed it with an "it's ok, it's just a shitty plastic bracelet," but by then I only had a few left, so in reality, I was gutted. Now I'm down to one, which I never wear but keep anyway because, like Grandma Ev, I'm a sentimental proto-hoarder.

It's not that it's pretty or interesting, but it's endured while all my other cheap jewelry has lost my favor. Next time I steal an old woman's stuff, I'll go for quality.

Jamie:

There's a ritual I go through in the morning to get ready. Piece by piece, it feels like I'm suiting up for battle. And while I don't have a sophisticated three-piece suit and tie, my fuchsia lipstick and bronze pendants give me all the armor I need to feel my power, confidence, and beauty—getting me ready for anything.

Lizzy:

All That's Left is a Band of Gold

For someone who has a complicated relationship with marriage, I am surprisingly attached to one particular inherited symbol of holy matrimony: my dad's wedding band. To be accurate, the gold band actually belonged to my mother's father. He was a man who, like many men before him, somehow ended up not raising his children. My mom inherited the relic. I guess that's the least a child of divorce can look forward to. That and less fighting.

I became its owner during a nostalgic afternoon when my mom kindly let me sift through her dusty jewelry boxes. I sometimes imagine its engraved inscription "M.L.B. TO W.D.H. 6-9-62" pressing against the skin of my middle finger, leaving an imprint of my grandparents' initials, an inherited attachment to dysfunctional relationships. I never really knew my grandpa, but his memory gives my mom a place of refuge, so I guess he must have been a good guy. I generally don't trust good guys, though.  

Ironically enough my mom and my dad, the second users of the ring, are still married. You might be wondering how I now posses it, if their matrimony is still intact. Good question. My dad, who built worlds with his hands, never really saw a use for the band. I like to imagine that he never wore it, but probably he did, for the first few days or weeks. It was more likely that the first time he slipped it off, he realized how superfluous it was. I know it sounds bad that my dad doesn't wear his ring. Trust me, he's a good guy. I guess I already told you not to trust them though.

Earlier this spring my brother announced his engagement to his girlfriend. The ring of our grandfather now has a new calling. I am wearing it as I type now, the worn gold gives off a soft glow in the sun. I plan on going with my brother to get the ring resized. I insisted actually that he keep the inscription on the inside and pay extra to maintain those initials. While I don't have an attachment to marriage (just distaste for it) I somehow love what this particular wedding band represents.

This ring is more than a marker of heteronormative relationships. For me this ring maps the interstices between myself and the men in my family. My grandfather who I never met. My father who spends his time off chipping away paint from the side of our house and fixing things I didn't even know existed. My brother who is moving back to Minnesota this summer.

Maybe it's fitting that a gold band represents my ties to these men. They say gold lasts forever. Or maybe that's diamonds. I don't really have a taste for either. 

Monday
Apr212014

What to Expect at the Wordsmith Opening on Thursday

It's a super chill literary hangout that you're super aggressively
encouraged to come to.


Thursday, April 24
7:00—10:00 p.m.
Magers and Quinn
RSVP on Facebook

 

What to bring: 

  1. Yourself.
  2. Your weirdest, most beautiful, most interesting, most something jewelry.
  3. Your reading glasses.

 

What to expect: 

  1. A jewelry-meets-lit art display.
  2. A Wordsmith zine.
  3. A reading from Maggie Ryan Sandford (at 8:00 sharp).
  4. A space to photograph and tell the story of your weirdest, most beautiful, most interesting, most something jewelry.
  5. Super sick gift bags.
  6. Themed music.
  7. Girly dranks.
  8. Lots of books. Buy one!

 

Sneak peek at the show: 

 

Samantha Mitchell, Adventure Time Brooch

Leslie Boyd, Junior's Room

Wednesday
Apr022014

The Poetry of Queer Theory: A Reading Guide

In every language the loveliest question / is, You can say that?

—Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick 

Lizzy Shramko

While most people spend their weekends hanging out with friends, making delicious food and generally being productive human beings, earlier this March I had the opportunity to spend a weekend at a graduate conference entitled, “Attachments: Queer Investments in Capital & Globalizations.” Organized by the Graduate Interdisciplinary Group on Gender Studies at the University of Minnesota, the conference addressed larger concepts of how bodies are regulated through the state, the non-profit industrial complex’s stake in the queer community, and temporal adjustments to the ways we think about crip-ness.

For those unfamiliar with the queer world of queer theory, here’s how I describe it to confused family members and friends: a critical discipline that came about in the ’90s, queer theory is as much about queerness as it is about reading the world in queer ways. While queer signifies personal and political identification with groups organized around sexuality and gender, it is also a stand in for the atypical, atemporal, improper and non-normative. Some say it emerged from post-structuralism, a school of philosophical thought that many prominent queer theorists were schooled in. There are also strong connections between comparative literature, art criticism, and queer theory. Queer theory encourages scholars and people to read the world around the in queer ways— it’s like Comp Lit’s weirder cousin, complete with septum ring and neon hair. The strands of queer theory that most interest me are connected to Third Wave or Third World Feminism, and borrow strongly from texts like This Bridge Called My Back.

If this doesn’t give a coherent definition of queer theory, then I recommend you check out this delightful blog that explains it in a much more entertaining, perhaps more realistic way. 

One way that queer theory "reads" queerness into and across external texts is demonstrated in how the Queer Attachments conference was designed. Coordinators expertly framed panels around Beyoncé lyrics that ranged from “Drunk in Love” to “Get Me Bodied,” a nod to queer theory’s critical engagement with the world around us. The use of Beyoncé lyrics (which, yes, are a form of poetry), made me think about the literary histories and teleologies of queer theory, and how the world of literature and queer theory intersect and overlap.

Some examples of how queer theorists have read queerness into explicitly literary texts include Judith Butler's analysis of Antigone, one of the archetypes of Greek mythology and key player that became a blueprint for playwrights around the world. Luminaries like Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick got their start teaching writing and literature and like many other theorists, Sedgwick even wrote her own poetry—her poetry is quoted in the beginning of this piece. Currently other queer theorists find themselves housed in departments like English and comparative literature. And before queer theory was even a discipline, poets like Audre Lorde, who laid the groundwork for different strands of queer theory, anticipated the ways that queer theory would grow alongside literary arts in decades to come. These intersections are not a coincidence.

Perhaps that is what I love the most about indulging in queer theoretical texts. There is something exciting about the fact that you can effectively queer the world around you. Queer theory equips you with the tools to read queerness into the field of literature, which has traditionally celebrated white, straight male authors and challenges you to view them from a different lens. It also encourages you to read the literary into texts not traditionally associated with "high brow" writing - like Mrs. Carter. It goes beyond the postmodern turn of deconstructionism and recognizes the weirdness, the political, the gross, the atemporal, the value and the queerness in all.

Intrigued? I’ve compiled a list of the most literary queer theoretical texts for the prose-minded to peruse:

Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Work of Shakespeare

Edited by Madhavi Menon

Ok so the name kind of says it all, but this book is filled to the brim with queer theoretical explorations of Shakespeare’s work. From language to themes to reflections of the author himself, the theorists in this book aim to recognize the queer in one of the most referenced authors in Western history. The writers also challenge notions of how “queerness” is expected to make itself knowable.

Antigone’s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death

By Judith Butler

Again, this one spells it out in the title. Butler, one of the most prominent scholars in queer theory, uses Antigone, a character who became one of the most well known tropes in modern literature, to rethink her importance in feminist and sexual politics. Butler is famous for thinking about the performative postures of gender—a concept that has received as much scrutiny as it has acclaim.

Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics

By José Esteban Muñoz

Muñoz, who taught at NYU’s Performance Studies Department, sadly passed away late last year. His seminal text, Disidentifications, explored the ways that queer people of color navigate mainstream culture through transforming texts, performances, and people through their own performances. His book theorizes the very political queering of the majority culture and offers a perspective on how to think about the potential for queering the world of literature—in the future and as it is happening now.

Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity

By José Esteban Muñoz

Muñoz’s second book explores the temporality of queer time and reads a temporal dissonance into writing by authors like Amiri Baraka and Frank O’Hara, among other artists.

Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories

By Elizabeth Freeman

Another exploration in the temporal connections with queer theory, Freeman’s book provides a new reading on artists in an attempt to reveal the temporal dissonances and political significance of their work. Using contemporary literary theory to read her texts, Freeman shows how the fields of comparative literature and English are in constant conversation with queer theory.

Novel Gazing: Queer Readings in Fiction

By Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

This book goes beyond analyzing individual texts and fixes its queer gaze on the history of the novel. Sedgwick, along with other contributors, explore the queer worlds of authors like Toni Morrison, Virginia Woolf, and Henry James, among others. A must-read for writers and readers interested in the literary arts.

The Weather in Proust

By Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

This collection of pieces written by Sedgwick was published posthumously after a battle with terminal cancer. While she was working on a book on Proust, this collection goes into a diverse assortment of texts, from Proust to Sedgwick’s own textile artwork. Sedgwick redefined the ways that psychoanalysis and affect theory were imagined within the scope of queer theory.


 

Friday
Mar282014

Blog o' Blogs: Best Literary Tumblrs

Alyssa Bluhm

I write this blog post knowing full well that the only Tumblr you really need to follow to get a healthy dose of popular art and lit is Paper Darts. However, for those who are into that variety-is-the-spice-of-life thing and want more than one tentacle of our Octolady clogging their homepage, here is a chili-bowl of blogs for your pleasure:

1. Dude in Publishing

Essentially the reaction-gif blog of the publishing world, Dude in Publishing is like the popular kid in high school everyone wanted to be friends with ("Maybe if I follow him I'll get a job in publishing, too!"). But since employment isn't likely to rub off on blog followers, this post about how to make it on your own might be helpful.

P.S. Anyone who loves breakfast this much is worth a follow. You go, DiP, you go.


2. Incorrect Sylvia Plath Quotes

As Abraham Lincoln once said, "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." This especially applies to Sylvia Plath, whose poetry inspired many songs, including the one from the '90s that goes, "Whoop, there it is."

3. Googly Eye Books

They put googly eyes on book covers, because this is the internet.

4. Literary Jukebox

This blog pairs a quote from a book with a song. Genius, right? It's kind of like Slaughterhouse 90210, except you don't have to feel left out when you've never seen the TV show.

5. Tattoo Lit

This blog might be an inspirational resource for anyone looking to get literary ink, or anyone looking for which clichéd tattoos not to get (hint: typewriter fonts), or for people who don't want tattoos but still think it's cool when people devote a whole sleeve to Harry Potter 

6. The Final Sentence

Let's be real—who has time to finish books anymore? Learn all you need to know about a book just by reading the last sentence. Warning: spoilers ahead.


7. Google Poetics

You know how people are always talking about how art is in those silly, everyday things we always take for granted? Google's search suggestions is one of them, and sometimes it makes for some good poetry. 

8. Ultimate Writing Resource List

There are probably a few versions of this list floating around, but every writer should have easy access to a comprehensive list of literally every piece of writing advice on the internet.

Monday
Mar242014

The Coming-of-Age Tale Gets Mixed Up with the WWE: "Savage 1986-2011" by Nathaniel G. Moore


Richard McClaughlin

As a society at the beck and call of mass culture, we're well into the second coming of reality television, (a medium that came into global power some 15 years ago) where plumbers, school teachers, fitness instructors, homemakers and janitors have the chance to become household names overnight. We continue to waltz knee-deep in the ever-boring business of the tell-all celebrity memoir that some people call "books." Contemporary fiction has joined the slow drip of this particular genre grab, taking on a life of its own in a confluence of expression and anonymity with fictional versions of lives we would otherwise never hear about. Sheila Heti and Tao Lin are fostering the people with urban fiction's take on the barrage of self-stuffing.

Described by Taddle Creek magazine as "a book whose tumultuous creation is a tale on-par with any W.W.E. storyline" Nathaniel G. Moore's Savage 1986–2011 (Anvil Press) takes the confessional love letter, puts a mixed tape in the envelope for good measure and throws it on your front porch, waiting obsessively for you to hear the truth. The truth is of course, according to Nate, the novel's voice and for all intents and purposes, narrative linchpin. According to Moore, the book had to have a major shift in treatment towards the end of its construction before he would show it to any publisher. "It lacked rhythm, it needed to be pushed closer to home, get a bit uglier and at the same time, more beautiful," Moore explains. "I rewrote it in first person, removing the original third person elements, changed the names around to those of my actual family, save for Holly who is the sister I never had, and based it entirely on what I remembered to be my legendary life with my family."

Nathaniel G. Moore's Savage 1986–2011 takes the confessional love letter, puts a mixed tape in the envelope for good measure and throws it on your front porch, waiting obsessively for you to hear the truth.

Since it's publication in late 2013, Savage 1986–2011 has included the release (online) of a short film and sporadic text and video features on the places and people that inspired and assisted with the novel's completion. Most of this has transpired through a Tumblr page (savageanovel.tumblr.com) but other bits Moore has released on Vimeo, and Savage Shorts on Youtube and on internet message boards.

"The use of black and white drawings by Vicki Nerino and Andrea Bennett added to the private feel the book gives off," says Moore. "The short film was necessary and came about for two reasons: because of the culture clutter that runs rampant in the opening chapters, and because I wanted to bridge the past with the present using old footage," Moore says, suggesting the tapestry of colors and products, music and personal visuals could be played out in the film in a way that was different than the book itself.

A perennial mouthpiece in the young Toronto publishing community, Moore is a both a long-time supporter of publishing and also one of its biggest antagonists. In a recent interview, Moore likened the business side of books to that of pro wrestling's prearranged outcomes.

The wrestling industry is "able to do the exact same thing over and over again and still make millions of dollars," Moore told Taddle Creek editor Conan Tobias. "The book industry is the same way. Although the money is completely skewed, it is, to a degree with grants and poetry contests, it is fake, it is prearranged. There are those situations where people say, 'No, I don't want to have that person win,' and no one can tell me that hasn't happened in Canadian publishing."

The wrestling industry is "…able to do the exact same thing over and over again and still make millions of dollars. The book industry is the same way. Although the money is completely skewed, it is, to a degree with grants and poetry contests, it is fake, it is prearranged."

While Moore admits many of his contemporaries believed the book to be entirely devoted to someone's obsession with wrestling and Randy Savage, he's been delighted with the end results of the product and general buzz the book has garnered. "People have walked away with different things, appreciated separate elements of Savage, and that's something I'm tremendously proud of, I almost got the sense that some people didn't expect to read a book so straight-forward from me, which, based on my past books I can't entirely blame them for."

And while popular culture does from time to time shout from the pages (Playboy, Terminator 2, Star Wars, George Michael, New Order, Wrestlemania, Cape Fear), the story arc is a unique look at one family member's recollection of his rise and fall and of a messy nuclear family meltdown with bouts of hope, lust, power, love and corruption all fountaining out in loud Technicolor.

Using the exploitive world of pro wrestling as a tiny thread in the storyline, Savage 1986–2011 is framed between the twenty-five years the narrator (named Nate) first sees Randy "Macho Man" Savage in the summer of 1986 until the passing of the wrestler in May 2011. The book revisits Toronto's 1980s and 1990s, bad parenting, explicit teen mischief, lazy pizza afternoons, personal fantasy and suburban dread. With George Michael or New Order playing on a constant loop in the background and armed with his trusty VHS video camera, Nate sets off to document the final years of a family caught in its growing web of dysfunction.

With George Michael or New Order playing on a constant loop in the background and armed with his trusty VHS video camera, Nate sets off to document the final years of a family caught in its growing web of dysfunction.

The book serves as both a time capsule and examination of the apparatus of the real and that which is perceived to be false or untrue. Each character believes in his or her own realities and the depths of their subjectivity, however erratic these emotional aggressions may appear to the reader.

"You have all those fundamental coming of age elements but also the break down and slow death of a family from the grandparents to the parents to the children," Moore explains, suggesting even the cat dies at some point. "We all live in the emotional garrisons we create for one another," the author points out.

Moore's two previous novels and two poetry collections vary in length and style and are hard to summarize but I'll try here (Bowlbrawl: full contact bowling league; Let's Pretend We Never Met: a poetic look at the author and the Latin poet Catullus somehow interacting in the present day; Pastels Are Pretty Much the Polar Opposite of Chalk: surreal pop poetry; and Wrong Bar: a group of teens plot a dance party and someone dies).  

Moore says Savage 1986–2011 took more than ten years to complete and was both difficult and exciting to work on, but most of all emotionally draining, sometimes requiring large chunks of time in between edits and revisions. "Beyond all that sulking teen anxiety stuff, which is part of the structure or whatever creative writing class slang you wanna to use, I think Savage is a very funny book, but then again, I live an alternative lifestyle."

Savage 1986–2011
by Nathaniel G. Moore
Anvil Press, 2013
buy on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 


Richard McClaughlin is a poet and writer from Etobicoke.

Tuesday
Mar182014

The Art of Vintage Stamps

Anna Debenham

I have a confession to make… I collect stamps. I have hundreds of them. Yeah, it may not be one of the coolest hobbies in the world, but give me a minute and I'll explain why I do it.

I haven't gone out of my way to collect them—apart from a few years as a Brownie. We were encouraged to bring in used stamps with us each week in exchange for a dried kidney bean (a Brownie point). I kept the ones I liked, I'm not sure what they did with the rest.

Most of my stamps are from collections friends and family gave to me. A good few are from my dad's office. They had clients sending letters from all over the world, and the people who worked in the post room very kindly tore off the corners of envelopes, and my dad would take a bundle of them home every week.

Kings and queens through the years. 

Getting the stamps off the envelopes was often fiddly. They had to be soaked in water, then left to dry on blotting paper. I would go to WHSmith and buy bags of little stamp hinges and stick them in a book with all the countries in it, but that rapidly filled up. Now my stamps live in a couple of big ring binders, tucked into special display sheets.

Once I'd managed to separate the stamps from their envelopes, there was the challenge of trying to work out which country they were from. Each is written in its own language, so figuring out where one was from when the country name was written in Arabic was tricky. It did make me quite good at learning the names though, and I very quickly learned the difference between Korean, Japanese, and Chinese script.

Japanese stamps celebrate International Letter Writing week.

Often I'll find a stamp from a country that no longer exists, or has the former name. They're artifacts, a snapshot of a culture, its politics, from a time when people used to send and receive letters much more frequently.

Despite having a collection, I don't regard myself as a real philatelist. I'm not remotely interested in the value of any given stamp, I'm not precious about them, and I'm pretty sure some of them are replicas. It's purely the designs I'm interested in.

A stamp from Mexico showing the different cuts of meat. 'Ganado y Carne' means 'Livestock and Meat.' 

I'm fascinated by what countries choose to print on their stamps because it says so much about how they want other people to perceive them—or what they value most about their country.

They're like a miniature postcard or tourist advertisement. Some stamps have beautiful typography, others it's the complete opposite, but it's still charming. The more recent stamps are photographs of people or places. The older ones are block colors, many featuring royalty or politicians. I think it says a lot about a country when practically every stamp is a picture of their president.

Every stamp is a little geography or history lesson. It makes me want to learn more about a place. 

Stamps from India, highlighting their skills in agriculture.


A series of stamps from Poland that show scenes from engineering, farming, and manufacturing. Poczta Polska is the Polish postal service. 

Family planning stamps from India. The one on the right says "Small family, happy family." This message also appeared on coins.

Some countries love to show off their local nature, predominantly birds and fauna. History also features a lot, as well as sports, science, and art. I love the space ones.

A stamp from Nicaragua highlighting space exploration. 

But stamps are a casualty of technology. They are being replaced with faceless bar codes that speak nothing of the origin's culture. I'm not that nostalgic about the past, and it's an understandable cost of progress, but I will miss that human element that stamps have.

A stamp from Russia circa 1989, featuring Soviet bear trainer Valentin Filatov and bears driving motorcycles.

Design Challenge

I've prepared a little design challenge, if you'd like to take part.

A postage stamp can be the equivalent of an elevator pitch, where the pitch is on what your country is about, whether it's "we're great at engineering," or "we're really proud of our architecture."

If you had just a thumb-sized piece of paper to describe yourself, your company, your local area or your country, what would it look like? What's the most important thing you'd want to show that sufficiently projected your culture or values? 

There are a couple of bits of information you'll need to put on your stamp:

  • Your name/company name/country name in your own language*
  • A price (in your own currency)
  • The year (optional)

* If you're based in the United Kingdom, you can use the Queen's head instead of the name. This is unique to the UK, being the country where adhesive stamps originated. (Thank you, Paul Lloyd, for this information)

It doesn't have to be rectangular. Some stamps are squares, triangles and even circles, but they should be small enough to fit in the corner of a postcard.

I've made a template you can use—it's an editable .png file. If you're a Dribbble user, please rebound my shot, and since everything these days has a hashtag, let's go with #thisismystamp.

Anna Debenham is a freelance Front-End developer based in the UK. This article was originally published as "Stamps" at Maban.co.uk, under a creative commons license.

Monday
Mar172014

PAPERCUTZ Volume 1: Nordic Noir

Lizzy Shramko

Here at Paper Darts we are all about mixing media. From lavish illustrations to bombshell jewelry designs, we are not afraid to venture outside of the literary world for inspiration. PAPERCUTZ, an adventure in literary mixtapes, is one example of this boundary crossing. Inspired by niche literary genres, we curate musical mixes to jam to while you read, write, dance, type—or do whatever it is that you do. This month's mixtape is inspired by the literary genre Nordic Noir

Also known as Scandinavian Noir or Scandinavian Crime Fiction, this genre is dark and complicated—just like Scandinavians. Right? Realistic and morally complex, these crime fiction thrillers will pull you in for days. If you like Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum, or Stieg Larsson, then this mixtape is especially for you. To complement the sinister leanings of books in this genre, this mix errs on the side of pop to soothe your soul. From '90s favorites like Ace of Base to contemporary pop queens like Maya Vik, get down to some refreshingly danceable tunes all created by artists of the Nordic persuasion. And if you must know, there might be a few extra Robyn tracks thrown in for good measure. 

So crack open that book, hit play and get ready to get down—Scandinavian style. Skål!

PAPERCUTZ Vol. 1: Nordic Noir from Paper Darts on 8tracks Radio.

Tracklist:

1.) Ace of Base, "All That She Wants"

2.) Robyn, "Dancehall Queen"

3.) The Knife, "Pass This On"

4.) Niki & The Dove, "Somebody"

5.) Maya Vik, "Get Low"

6.) The Cardigans,"Lovefool"

7.) Miike Snow, "Animal"

8.) Lykke Li, "I Follow Rivers" (The Magician Remix)

9.) Icona Pop, "I Love It"

10.) Robyn, "Do You Know (What It Takes)"

11.) Robyn, "Dancing on My Own"