Bodies, Watchers, and Magic Doors: A February update

I’m sitting on a bus, my nose pressed to the window. Outside, Ontario morphs into Quebec. It has been about a month since my last update. Of course, in the 21st century, one month feels equivalent to about 80 years. I’m writing this on a Thursday and setting it on an automatic timer, so that it will post in the future, on Friday, because WordPress is good like that. So this post is a tiny form of time travel.

 

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Hello to you all in the future. What’s it like there?

 

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I’m getting to Montreal, where I’ll present my paper “Queering the Cyborg: How Hybrid Bodies set us Free” at McGill University’s English Graduate Conference: Excavations. This is my first time formally presenting at a conference. The paper focuses on Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s 2019 novel This is How You Lose the Time War. Swamp Thing and Robocop also feature. It’ll be a good time.

But for those of you (most of you) that won’t be sitting in my audience this weekend, I’m also leaving a decent amount of work behind me from this past week in various genres.

mohsin-hamid-exit-westMy second essay for Empty Mirror is out Friday morning: “Exit West: Freedom in The Digital City focused on the 2017 novel by Mohsin Hamid. My paper, like the novel, is focused on issues of migration and refugee rights and the ways that nations seek to dehumanize those that would only ask to be let in.

MV5BYjhhZDE3NjgtMjkzNC00NzI3LWJhOTItMWQ5ZjljODA5NWNkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzQ2MDI5NjU@._V1_ You can check out my very belated review of HBO’s Watchmen that was published at The Nerd Daily on Monday morning: Watchmen: You See What You Want to See. This was one of two unauthorized sequels to the seminal graphic novel that dropped in late 2019, that had some interesting things to say about reparations, trauma, and nostalgia (and hopefully you find what I had to say about what the show had to say good too)

Finally, On Monday evening, the fabulous Temz Review released its 10th issue, and within you can find my short story Hard-Light Bodies. Described as lyrical and melancholy science fiction, this is my first published work (of fiction) focused on mobility and the body. In it, a holographic projection watches, as the buildings which cast its lights morphs from a place of freedom to a place of detention. Please read and enjoy, and also check out the rest of the issue! This is a journal I have long admired, and I am in excellent company.

 

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I don’t have any art to represent this story, so here is a great gif from a terrible movie

 

In the coming months, I’ll be excited to share more essays and fiction. I feel really fortunate this year to have so much work out in such a short time. It is good to be a part of the world

If you are at all moved by my essay or story this month, please check out No One is Illegal – Toronto, a grassroots migrant justice organization fighting to end immigration detention here in Ontario: https://toronto.nooneisillegal.org.

The bus is stuttering to a halt. I’ll go stumble out into the pale sun, reaching desperately for coffee and directions. If I walk for long enough, the feeling will return to my legs. If I walk for long enough, I’ll hopefully find more to say.

Published by Ben Berman Ghan

Hi! My name is Ben Berman Ghan. I’m Jewish Settler, writer, editor, and academic based in Tkaronto/Toronto, site of Treaty 13 and Williams Treaty territory, currently working on my MA at Ryerson University's Literatures of Modernity program. I am the author of many short stories, a few essays, and the fix-up novel What We See in the Smoke (Crowsnest Books 2019)

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