Truman Capote, author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, described his diary as a ‘hieroglyphic shambles’. He said that when looking back over his old journals he was frequently baffled by entries of which he had no recollection. ‘God knows what “Thunder on Cobra Street” refers to,’ he pondered. I, too, came across many jottings in my diaries that left me wondering what on earth I was on about.
In addition to these cryptic scribbles, I noticed that I am also quite an avid list maker, though not nearly as obsessive as Susan Sontag, renowned for her exhaustive lists of, well, everything. For example: “Things I like: fires, Venice, tequila, sunsets, babies, silent films, heights, coarse salt, top hats, large long-haired dogs, ship models, cinnamon, goose down quilts, pocket watches, the smell of newly-mown grass, linen, Bach, Louis XIII furniture, sushi, microscopes, large rooms, ups, boots, drinking water, maple sugar candy.”1 Following my last Writer’s Block piece, here are some more of my journal entries and accompanying photos, covering the period of my last few weeks in France and my relocation to Vietnam. Once again, I must mention that I took the liberty to change names and details where necessary. And by necessary I mean wherever the hell I felt like it.
As the end of the 18/19 Writer’s Block board year draws to close, we present – for the sake of posterity – a joint masterpiece that critics across the world will surely describe as ‘crass’, ‘tasteless’ and ‘mildly funny if you’re really tired at the time’ – which we have put together with much love, dedication and nuance. Always wanted to get to know the board a little better? This is the perfect opportunity! All current board members answered a bunch of budding questions about themselves, with exciting, in-depth answers into the mysteries of selfhood, plastic bags and psychoanalysis (just kidding: only one of those three is true, and you know it’s neither of the good ones). Curious to find out about our favorite submissions, childhood antics and weirdest hobbies? This is the article that will answer all of the above, and perhaps leave you with more questions than before. Let’s get started!
Writer’s Block is looking for fresh, new, enthusiastic, talented, and creative editorial board members! Do you like writing, editing, or do you have any journalistic aspirations? Then join the Writer’s Block editorial board!
What/who is Writer’s Block? Writer’s Block magazine is the student magazine of the English department at the University of Amsterdam, but we have an international readership and contributors from across the globe. In our magazine, which is released every 3 months, we publish articles, essays, reviews, interviews, short stories, poetry, photography, and artwork. Even though the magazines are published in English, we also encourage students from outside the English department to join our board, so it doesn’t matter if you study astrophysics, law, pedagogy, history, or play the clarinet in the national orchestra – everyone is welcome at Writer’s Block.
I have identified as a feminist since I was sixteen, and although I feel passionate about the movement and its causes, I had never participated in any kind of demonstration before. One of my resolutions for this year was to change that, so this year, I joined the 2019 Women’s March in Amsterdam. Full of excitement, me, my friends and 15000 others gathered at Dam Square to make our voices be heard. Because I had never been to a demonstration like this before, it felt overwhelming to see the crowd, but in a very positive and empowering way. Everywhere I looked I could see amazing, handcrafted signs, with provoking and passionate slogans concerning female empowerment, dissolution of the gender binary and the thirst for universal rights. There was an incredible sense of spirit and solidarity in the air, funded by the thrill of the communal goal. The energy of the crowd was lifted even further by a few short speeches the organisers and a few selected activists gave before we started marching.