Anne Carson, “The Gender of Sound” (excerpt)



Madness and witchery as well as bestiality are conditions commonly associated with the use of the female voice in public, in ancient as well as modern contexts. Consider how many female celebrities of classical mythology, literature and cult make themselves objectionable by the way they use their voice.

For example, there is the heart-chilling groan of the Gorgon, whose name is derived from a Sanskrit word, *garg meaning “a guttural animal howl that issues as a great wind from the back of the throat through a hugely distended mouth”. There are the Furies whose high-pitched and horrendous voices are compared by Aiskhylos to howling dogs or sounds of people being tortured in hell (Eumenides). There is the deadly voice of the Sirens and the dangerous ventriloquism of Helen (Odyssey) and the incredible babbling of Kassandra (Aiskhylos, Agamemnon) and the fearsome hullabaloo of Artemis as she charges through the woods (Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite). There is the seductive discourse of Aphrodite which is so concrete an aspect of her power that she can wear it on her belt as a physical object or lend it to other women (Iliad). There is the old woman of Eleusinian legend Iambe who shrieks obscenities and throws her skirt up over her head to expose her genitalia. There is the haunting garrulity of the nymph Echo (daughter of Iambe in Athenian legend) who is described by Sophokles as “the girl with no door on her mouth” (Philoktetes).

Putting a door on the female mouth has been an important project of patriarchal culture from antiquity to the present day. Its chief tactic is an ideological association of female sound with monstrosity, disorder and death.

– From “The Gender of Sound”, in Glass, Irony and God. New Directions, 1995: pp 120-121
The essay:

Art: Cassandra by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

"I just think male vocalists are more relatable" etc. etc.

(It’s also something they advise you on in management: how to modulate the voice so that men don’t instinctively shut their ears to your content. Speak more slowly and evenly, don’t turn the ends of sentences into questions, above all never sound like a nagging mother or wife. There’s dollar value in being a contralto, of that I’m fairly certain.)


Liu Wen for Vogue China October 2014 

"Scarlet Rouge" shot by Camilla Åkrans, styling by Franck Benhamou, Hair by Franco Gobbi and make up by Violette.

Kinda want to go back to this hairstyle… and Paris… also the hairstyle… sigh

(Source: thefashionspot)


People think I’m overly critical of marvel movies, because you will rarely catch me talking this much shit about marvel comics (well, that’s not true)

but the thing is that the marvel movies are pretty much the only aspect of Marvel IP anyone at that company pays any attention to 

It’s people falling in love with Loki in the Thor movies that got us Gillen’s journey into Mystery Run, Loki on the Young Avengers and Al Ewng’s Loki book

it’s the response to Widow’s increased role in Cap 2 that got us Edmonson’s balling Black Widow book (and marvel will try to front like these things were “in the works” when they know that’s a damn lie)

The GotG film being super popular is why we’ve got a starlord book, a rocket racoon book, and an upcoming gamora book

Shit. People loving J. August Richards on Agents of SHIELD is why we’re getting a Deathlok book. A fucking Deathlok book.

If Marvel thinks people are responding to something they see on their screens, they will make it into a comic book.

MCU fans are literally shaping the books that Marvel is putting out (even tho, y’know, marvel knows yall motherfuckers aren’t reading them)

so when it becomes obvious to me that they think their film fans don’t want to see anything interesting on screen, I know how that bodes for certain characters

Out of all points this is a most excellent one — the flow is much more one-way than the ppl who both watch MCU and read the recent comics (we do exist!) tend to assume — otherwise there wouldn’t be so much surprise/disappointment at continued lack of Carol/Jess/Black Widow movie etc.

Like I still think the actual GotG book was/is better than the movie but Bendis wrote that book because they were ramping up to the movie (and ironically it’s probably better because it retained more of the Nicole Perlman DNA, plus any minor creative input Gaiman might have had. I mean Bendis isn’t perfect but »> Gunn in my observation).




Realistic House Plant Cupcake by Alana Jones-Mann

Artist on Tumblr | Facebook

Inspired by a gardening project, Brooklyn-based baker Alana Jones-Mann decided to make cupcakes that look like common miniature cacti. Using frosting, green food coloring and of course, baking talent, Alana successfully made a bunch of cacti cupcake cuteness and even planted them on soil (crushed graham crackers). These realistic cacti cupcake are made with such impressive details that some of them even appear sharp to the touch. If you like those edible cacti and want to make your own, head on over to Alana Jones-Mann’s blog and find the step-by-step tutorial.


for a guy who can really completely annihilate a whole bag of candy at one sitting I have a pretty low threshold for cupcakes - like, I’ll eat one, which is weird for me, I don’t eat one of anything generally - but CHECK OUT THESE WICKED-ASS CUPCAKES



Neon blue lava pours from Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen Volcano. The reason it’s blue is because the mountain contains large amounts of pure sulfur, which emits an icy violet colors as it burns. It turns the rocky slopes into a hot, toxic environment. (Article) 

Who knew, apparently this is real! Sulfur is most flammable in pure oxygen, of course, but it does burn with a nice little blue-violet flame. The video is pretty amazing.

I like how the video voiceover ends “and then they discovered they were not alone” like ????? yes I have watched that episode of the X-Files it ends with death by silicone throat-dildo

Drake: You... you don't hate me?

Nicki Minaj: You idiot! That's all in your head.

Drake: But... I hate myself.

Rihanna: Those who hate themselves cannot love or trust others.

Drake: I am wicked... a coward... weak... and...

Beyoncé: If you know yourself, you can be kind to others.

Drake: I hate myself. But... I might be able to love myself. I might be able to stay here. Yes. I am nothing, but I... I am myself. I wish to be myself. I wish to stay here as myself. I am worthy of living here!

Nicki Minaj: Congratulations!

Rihanna: Congratulations!

Beyoncé: Congratulations!

Lil Wayne: Congratulations!

Jay Z: Congratulations!

A$AP Rocky: Congratulations!

Jhene Aiko: Congratulations!

Kanye West: Congratulations!

DJ Khaled: Congratulations!

Birdman: Congratulations!

Nebby: Congratulations!

Sandi Graham: Congratulations!

Drake: Thank you!

Othon Friesz, Le Canal d’Anvers (1906) (at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)

Othon Friesz, Le Canal d’Anvers (1906) (at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)


“…and your mother said ‘Happy birthday. I am sorry to inform you that everyone you love is dead’

Explain, with reference to Sylvia Plath’s first suicide attempt and subsequent admittance to hospital, the relevance of the quote above to your childhood, when, upon seeing the brilliant blue of a butterfly’s wings—

(10 marks)


Should a poet’s work be

enjambed or read in sequence? Examinees are encouraged to utilise essay structure and one reference to Walt Whitman in their answer.

(5 marks)


There’s stardust in our eyes and laughter on our lips,

Over and over again the orchestra plays our last dance:

Amor, amor, amor

(10 marks)


They saw that post you made last night, when you thought they had gone to sleep and you could let the hurt bleed.

Give up. It’s over. You’re over.

A person who has feelings is a ruined person unless they keep their mouth shut - which is exactly what you didn’t do.

(5 marks)


I hold stars for the gods, their flashing eyes are nebulae, colours blooming against the universe; their council is the companion of beauty and destruction. 
The moirai, with their pale fingers, trace my body, as cold and unfeeling as porcelain, each brush a calculation and every new line a fate thrown into existence. They cut my golden hairs one by one; there is no string of fate, destinies are written in my stars—

(10 marks)


“You trace my scars like you could brush them away and wipe the blood from my mouth as if it would remove the wounds on my lips.” Discuss this statement, with evidence cited from the decline of the relationship between Lucien Carr, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg to support your conclusion. 

(5 marks)


Now the sky is still heartbreakingly blue. It’s a blue that lovers kiss under, in the cooling summer air, the kind that drags itself across the skin of my body and leaves a trail of goose bumps to hint at its existence. It’s so quiet I can hear the radio playing somewhere. It’s singing about people, and about feelings… feelings about people. It’s warbling words of love and murdering us with words edged like an axe. It’s crooning the song of death.

Do you agree? 

(20 marks)


Cassandra was gone long before her death, murmuring words, and words, and words; and her mind falling as Apollo watched her beauty heighten in her madness, and the truth will always be madness, but when she died with screams on her lips, she could not help but be satisfied with her choice, though it may never have been hers, because she cannot be her own person any more than you can stand to keep away from blades, do you understand please do you understand—

(10 marks)


Is opinion a requirement for literature? Are you?

(15 marks)


If, at 5 A.M. on a Monday morning I still haven’t slept and countless cups of coffee have cooled in my hands, but I’m still reaching for your number in my phone even after you told me “never again”:

(i)                 Explain why the French Revolution was an amalgamation of poor leadership, economic troubles and enlightened thinking, making sure to provide sufficient illustration of the dramatic irony and use of paradox used by the authors of the nightmare you had two hours ago every night but never wake from.

(ii)               Draw the colour of your soul.

(10 marks)


Shouldn’t you have learnt by now? (25 marks)

Death won’t get an A on your exam. (25 marks)

If I don’t exist, how do I know about me? (25 marks)

Please? (25 marks)

All working must be demonstrated. All questions must be answered. Illegibility will be penalised.

standard exam, E.C. (via vohltaire)


A bottle of prosecco + the latest Gibson: = how to summon a minimoonstar, eh? ;)

 I have held the ARC in my hands but was not allowed to read it :(


A bottle of prosecco + the latest Gibson: = how to summon a minimoonstar, eh? ;)

I have held the ARC in my hands but was not allowed to read it :(