Category: Ephemera

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A Primer on Musicology for Literary Critics

by Ed Smith

During my formal musical education, I experienced an epiphany about how music works. It happened when one of my professors said that all music is nothing more than tension and release, sound waves (or lack thereof) that depict conflict and resolution. Boiling down music theory to this binary view is, of course, not sufficient for studying the nuts and bolts of composition and performance,

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Not Strictly Platonic: Five Dialogues on the Unity of Poetry and Music

by Jade Wallace

I: Youthful Bro

YOUTHFUL BRO (YB) is on a date with a woman, who considers herself a CASUAL ACQUAINTANCE (CA) of his.

YB: I know what poetry and music are and I understand the difference between them. I have an interdisciplinary cultural studies degree.

CA: What is poetry then?

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Defiance in Cadence: Analyzing T.I.’s “I Believe”

by E Martin Nolan

Notes on this analysis: There are no official lyrics for this song, so the lyrics quoted below are based on those compiled by, as well as my own transcriptions (there are some discrepancies). I have also been unable to identify the singer on the track,

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Toward a Hybrid Criticism: This is Not a Poem

by Daniel Kincade Renton

In the late ’60s, an idiosyncratic country singer named Townes Van Zandt wrote and recorded a song called “I’ll Be Here in the Morning.”

The song contains a simple message: the singer feels compelled to hit the road but promises not to leave their lover for at least one more night.

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The Canadian Experience

by Jacqueline Valencia

As the fireworks lit up a celebratory sky on July 1, there was a great sense of pride for the place I was born and the place I’m privileged to live. However, Canada 150 left me a little uneasy. Maybe it’s because I’m older now and I am more awake than I have ever been that I find a giant disconnect with it all.

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On Reading and Feeling

by Kathryn Stagg

The first book that I ever connected with was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I distinctly remember, at 14 years old, sitting on my bed and crying for what felt like hours. Over the days that followed, I walked around in a haze: that state between exhaustion and elation that follows an intensely emotional episode.

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One Writer’s Brave Attempt at Solving Sexism and Lazy Writing in One Essay

by Dana Ewachow

I have loved reading my whole life, from the moment I memorized each page of Dr. Seuss’s In a People House and shouted the words while sitting on my mother’s lap. Books have always been part of my studies, my paid work, my unpaid work, and my free time. Books remain my favourite thing to buy and stack on my small IKEA bookshelf that looks more and more like a Tetris challenge every day.

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What Does Your Sign Say About You?

by Kailey Havelock

We buy mythology in the dust jackets of sociology textbooks. We place calendars on altars of meaning to suspend our disbelief and imagine that good times or bad times can be contained within orbital patterns. We wake up and check our horoscopes as if they were news, collecting affirmations of what we already knew. We want to know who is a cat person or a morning person or a tea-drinker.

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The High Cost of Living at the Centre of the Universe

by Jason Freure

You may have noticed that all anybody can talk about in Toronto is the housing market, the housing crisis, and the high cost of living. Not a day goes by without another story or another outrage. On the same day that the president of MetCap, a large property management company, assaulted a tenants’ advocate at the site of a rent strike in Parkdale with his truck,