At a Crossroads
The Smart Set is an online publication from Drexel University “covering culture and ideas, arts and sciences, global and national affairs â€” everything from literature to shopping, medicine to food, philosophy to sports.”
This is an excerpt from a new illustrated book by Kate T. Williamson. The illustrations, presented in a slideshow, are touching, whimsical and colourful.
When I moved back to my parentsâ€™ home in Reading, Pennsylvania, I thought it would be a brief stopover. I had recently graduated from college and just returned from a year in Japan; I was hoping to live with my parents while I worked on a book. What started as a three-month visit grew into a 23-month extended stay.
[ â€¦ ]
Daily life was filled with pleasant discoveries (noticing the train sounds from my bedroom for the first time, watching the moon from the roof) but tinged with the general embarrassment of having moved back in with my parents. After many months of awkward and rambling explanations about my return home, I was pleased when I hit upon the perfect response: Iâ€™mâ€¦at a crossroads. Ambiguous and vaguely dramatic, this proved to end most lines of questioning almost immediately. And it was true.
About The Smart Set:
The Smart Set is almost 100 years old. It was called â€œThe Magazine of Clevernessâ€¦The Aristocrat Among Magazinesâ€¦The Only Magazine with an European Air,â€ edited from 1914 to 1923 by George Jean Nathan and ["Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."] H.L. Mencken. It was a fine magazine, publishing the early work of such talents as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, and Theodore Dreiser.â€
What sorts of topics is The Smart Set presently ruminating on? Transparent frogs, Soviet vacation destinations, blushes, the problems of painting, a birthday for H.L. Mencken, the state of short fiction, Japanese hobby clubs, torrid affairs in Bhutan and Polynesia, and much MUCH more!
The site updates daily, Monday through Friday, with a mix of columns and features â€” high quality writing and photography presented in a broad range of categories including reportage, personal and critical essays, memoirs, and stories. The Smart Set is an independent journal, generously supported by Drexel University.
Always worth a visit. Oh, and they accept contributions (or consider them, anyway):
“We’re always looking for excellent, original, and previously unpublished personal essays, critical essays, reporting, memoir, travel writing, stories, photo essays, and even video projects.
“In particular, we are currently looking for pieces to publish under the columns Something Personal (memoir and personal essay), and Grand Tour (travel essays).”
[tags]Smart Set, Mencken, Drexel University, Drexel, fictoin, art, Illustration, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Theodore Dreiser, essays, reporting, memoir, travel writing, stories, photo essays, video, culture and ideas, arts, sciences, global affairs, national affairs, literature, shopping, medicine, food, philosophy, sports, values, morals[/tags]