To Arrakis and Back: Frank Herbert’s Dune in Retrospect

so on. It’s not uncommon to hear Herbert’s name alongside other pioneers in modern genre fiction, the likes of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S Lewis.

The book, however, is not lauded on all fronts. It has its critics as well as its fans and even so, much of what people tend to enjoy about the novel has to do with the wider project of Herbert’s literary Universe and the depth of craft in his worldbuilding, as opposed to the narrative alone.  Continue reading To Arrakis and Back: Frank Herbert’s Dune in Retrospect

Parables from Plymouth Rock: A Book Review of “Liberty’s Jihad” by Munawar Ali Karim

The book in question is prefaced with what could be described as a defiance of Barthesian attitudes towards literature (i.e. an irreverence towards authorial intentions and context) . The author audaciously suggests the order in which he would like his book to be read. Such direction might seem archaic in an era in which authorial intent is often cast to the wayside. However, in following his suggested formula — beginning in the middle of the book before returning to its start and eventually the conclusion — I believe I benefited from the book in a wholly unique way. Continue reading Parables from Plymouth Rock: A Book Review of “Liberty’s Jihad” by Munawar Ali Karim

Reclaiming Empathy: A Film Review of “Grave of the Fireflies”

One of the blessings in art – one that appears to be lost in the spirit of the Western Muslim – is that it allows us to find new ways to question and reflect upon our personal states. With respect to cinema, despite the countless films and genres that appear to celebrate all manners of excess including senseless violence and gore, there are those that utilize these motifs to invite reflection from the audience. One such film is the Japanese animation Grave of the Fireflies. Continue reading Reclaiming Empathy: A Film Review of “Grave of the Fireflies”