wellesley high school's literary & arts magazine

What Is to Be Done

An essay by Contributing Editor Andrew Ng, ’22


Vladimir: Nothing you can do about it.

Estragon: No use struggling.

Vladimir: One is what one is.

Estragon: No use wriggling.

Vladimir: The essential doesn’t change.

Estragon: Nothing to be done.

– Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot


Vladimir and Estragon experience the Absurd, facing up against the purposelessness of life and the hopelessness of the world. The Absurd is, as Camus worded it, the “divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting.” The question of life – the question of living – bears heavily on the absurd man (note: in The Myth of Sisyphus (Tr: Justin O’Brien) Camus uses the phrase “absurd man,” as opposed to “absurd person,” etc. I have chosen to also use “absurd man” to maintain clarity and consistency, though I find it misogynistic), and truly on all of us. The philosopher and the writer confront the Absurd to examine humanity. Camus differentiates yet links these disciplines to find that “the great novelists are philosophical novelists,” yet not philosophers themselves: they write “in images rather than in reasoned arguments.” But Camus himself was undeniably both a novelist and a philosopher. And The Stranger is as much of an account of his philosophy as is The Myth of Sisyphus. The distinction then is a matter of appearances: the great author, as the Russian Formalists might put it, “defamiliarizes” the reader yet still conveys message and meaning. Meaning, for Camus, being a confrontation with the Absurd.  Continue reading “What Is to Be Done”

Seaside Procession

A vignette by Editor-in-Chief Jacob Landau, ’22


I’ve never seen the wonders of an Aquarium on a weeknight; perhaps only when the weather has been too treacherous have I wanted to go. Who would bother to waste their energy climbing through the snow onto the purple line, among strangers, only to watch the fish in their foreign land? And even so, why subject yourself to such horrors on the train to get there? The T, among strangers, is of the most chaos in its joint captivity; everyone is stuck in a foreign place until they have an opportunity to leave. Amongst strangers every individual is alone. But among a search for swimming fish we are suddenly together. The T smells strongly of bland chaos in the sweaty marks of those past. 

Continue reading “Seaside Procession”


A Vignette by Lucy Calcio, ’22


She gazes through the droplets forming on the windowpane in front of her. The drops splash on the window and slowly make their way down, racing each other across each pane, then finally falling in the same wet puddle below them. She looks beyond the droplets as the waves crash below the gray sky that vastly spreads above the beach. One after another, the white foam surfs the top of the wave as it holds on until the sweet relief of crashing over the top and on the sand below it.

Continue reading “Untitled”

Silent Mind

A drawing by Caroline Earley, ’21

Continue reading “Silent Mind”

The Universality of Bad Foreign Policy: A Review of Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival

A book review by Contributing Editor Andrew Ng, ’22.

Chomsky’s best-selling Hegemony or Survival is a masterful dissection of US foreign policy from the 2nd World War up to the US invasion of Iraq. While his acerbic tone may not be for everyone, I personally enjoyed Chomsky’s heavy dose of sarcasm and biting criticism of the US government, a welcome relief after my traversal of Piketty’s incredibly dry Capital and Ideology (review here). Chomsky frequently points out the blatant hypocrisy of government statements and policy, emphasizing the “logical illogicalities” to great effect. For example, one of my favorite lines from the book is “surely this establishes the case and justifies the praise for the altruistic leaders opening a new era of enlightenment. And so it might, if the claims had any relation to the facts.” As we will see, Chomsky’s criticism also reaches across the aisle, ensnaring both Democrats and Republicans in the complicated and pernicious web of US imperialism.

Continue reading “The Universality of Bad Foreign Policy: A Review of Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival”

How to Get Away with Murder

A prose poem by Editor-in-Chief Jacob Landau, ’22

Ten violets grow in soft water. Another eight lilies, struck by the early March sunlight, rise through warm gravel. Fifteen roses appear in melting snow. Fifty sunflowers soar through Florida marshes. Dozens of bouquets emerge from the sullen ground daily. Every year, thousands of flowers emerge—yet again in America.

Continue reading “How to Get Away with Murder”

Summer Newsletter

Isn’t it amazing how summer quickly approaches?

Continue reading “Summer Newsletter”

Untitled image

From Howard Xu, ’23

Spring Contest Winner Announced

Congratulations to our winner, Charmi Daas, for her submission, The Sweetest Kiss.

We would also like to extend our congratulations to runners up Iris Xia and Andrew Ng for their submissions, The Queen of the Night and String Quartet no. 1.

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