The Good Life, Ukrainian Style

Tennis anyone? Horseback riding? A round of golf? Try your luck at the shooting range, or out on the hunting grounds? Aim clear of the private zoo, with its collection of peacocks, yaks, ostriches, deer, antelope, pheasants, and wild boar. For the motoring minded there is a lineup of antique cars to ogle, 27 in all, valued at more than $1 million. At the end of a busy day a spa awaits to offer massages (Thai, Swedish, or facial, with designated rooms for each), a tanning room of nagging clouds has obscured the Slavic sun, and a fully functional gym to tone muscles is left untried. Dinner awaits in either of two formal dining rooms or a restaurant housed in a Spanish warship afloat on a manmade lake. Before bedtime, nightcaps are poured into crystal glasses in the wood-paneled bar. Were these the delights on offer at a five-star resort on the Black Sea coast? No, they awaited guests of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych at Mezhyhiriya, the site of his country home until he fled to Russia on February 21, 2014 following a flurry of nationwide protests.

Look Closer: The Importance of Punch Drunk Love

Punch Drunk Love is a kind of movie we are all familiar with, but also one that is unlike any other. The initial shot of this movie makes director Paul Thomas Anderson’s vision clear: he aims to show us something we could not have seen otherwise. It is through his craft that the audience is treated to a subversion of the romantic comedy—a genre of film riddled with clichés. PDL is special because it is made up of things we are used to seeing and flips them on their head. This subversion of components generates something entirely different: a beautiful, intimate experience that demands that we change what we ask for from these kinds of movies.

The Dead Sea Scrolls: Ancient Texts and Modern Forgery

For two thousand years, the Dead Sea Scrolls lay hidden. They were discovered in 1947 in the West Bank and became incredibly important artifacts for archaeologists and scholars as some of the oldest biblical texts ever discovered. Over the next several decades the various Scrolls were sold and scattered between various collectors and museums. One such museum, the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., proudly displayed sixteen fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, until this past March, when National Geographic reported that a team of researchers had found that all of the museum’s fragments were fakes. This conclusion has important ramifications not only for the museum, but also for researchers studying the Scrolls, and for the history of Judaism and Christianity.

Entity in the Nebula

Entity in the Nebula In the nebula There is starry matter, And in that matter There are phosphorescent eyes — And within the penetrating smoky-eyed visage                            There is an...

The Age of (Now Imposed) Isolation

In this uncertain, panic-inducing period, we must remain cognizant of the truths proclaimed foreign to the naturality of our high-functioning societies. No sense can be found in gun-brandishing skirmishes over reams of toilet paper. With our technological omnipotence and post-material ethical discourses, surely we have surpassed such basal manifestations of ourselves. Yet, at this very moment, when the threat of a virus seems more a theoretical danger than a personal one, the extremity of the drive for individual preservation is once more laid bare.

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It is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified

– Friedrich Nietzsche,

Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik

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I am fit / to chase / again

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listen / I too grow an inch per year and speak to the wind

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a woman who made a career as a poet / Made a career and consequently a life

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Acta Victoriana is the literary journal of Victoria College and the longest running university student publication in Canada. Since its founding in 1878, it has maintained a legacy of artistic excellence and boasts alumni such as Margaret Atwood, George Elliot Clarke, and E. J. Pratt.

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