‘I work hard. I work very hard’: a female voice describes herself using language that seems to conform to societal expectations of what a modern person – and a modern woman especially – ought to be. As the narration unfolds without context, her words use stock phrases you might read on a resume or hear aloud as self-affirmations. But the shakiness of her voice accompanied by the wry animated sequences that unfold alongside – a man scaling a house of cards; a porcupine surrounded by balloons – expose the sentiments as hollow and at odds with the narrator’s true experience of life. Based on graphic novels exploring anxiety by the Canadian artist Catherine Lepage, The Great Malaise finds poignance, dark humour and perhaps a good deal of catharsis in mining the gaps between who we think we should be be and who we actually are.
Teaching and learning
Ronald grew up in a New York City library. It was as strange and wondrous as it sounds
An unvarnished, poetic account of a new mother’s struggle to breastfeed
Why making if-then connections might be the key to consciousness
The cast of ‘misfit toys’ who keep life on an idyllic tourist island afloat
Ageing and death
When his elderly parents make a suicide pact, Doron struggles to accept their choice
Biography and memoir
What Akiko saw at the centre of the Hiroshima blast, and the indelible mark it left
Yes, the Inuit have dozens of words for snow – but what does each one mean exactly?
Technology and the self
One woman prepares for the risky solitude of Georgia O’Keeffe’s American West
The ancient world
Sappho’s homoerotic poetry was beloved in ancient Greece – and burned centuries later