The Longstanding Debate Between Novels And Their Adaptations, As Shown By 'Sweetbitter'

The Longstanding Debate Between Novels And Their Adaptations, As Shown By 'Sweetbitter'

Will the "Sweetbitter" TV show capture every sensation and emotion that the novel did?

When I read Stephanie Danler’s debut novel “Sweetbitter” last summer, I was not prepared or even sure of what to expect. I had my dream internship after completing my first year of college 900 miles from home and felt, for the first time, like I knew what adulthood truly was. Despite spending my days reading manuscript submissions at work, I read every single day on my train ride home. At the suggestion of a friend, I decided to pull my copy of “Sweetbitter” out from my never-ending pile of To-Read’s and settled in with blissful optimism.

Reading this book is like having the wind knocked out of you.

“Sweetbitter” was released around the same time as Emma Cline’s debut “The Girls” back in 2016. Both books depict young women on the precipice of something more in their lives and the way in which they both write their novels (I’ve described the style as “raw and unnervingly personal” to friends before) not only touches upon, but grips and defines something in readers that they did not previously know was present within them.

Danler manages to capture the sensations of coming of age, of defining individual identity, and of just existing as a young woman in the world despite centering it around a specific narrative. Although I worked in a bakery throughout high school (and learned an exorbitant amount about interpersonal relations from that experience), I cannot relate to the protagonist, Tess’s, involvement in the New York City restaurant scene. Yet, I could not shake the gnawing sense that Danler had seen the world exactly as I was seeing it every morning on my way to work and every evening on my way home because the way Tess saw the world, every morning and every evening, was so unbelievably relatable that referring someone to the book is the only way I could ever explain my experience.

As Danler herself explains, “Sweetbitter.. is about a moment when “you’re waiting for your life to start and it has already started.” It depicts a concept which I recently stumbled upon: liminal spaces. A liminal space is a point of transition when you’re standing on the precipice of something more, but haven’t quite gotten there yet (i.e. the sensation of entering adulthood based on the passing of milestones like employment and education, but without the sense that you have personally grown up in any specific way). “Sweetbitter” not only portrays a character in a liminal space, but depicts the liminal space in which all women find themselves in as they transition to adulthood in their 20’s.

The pain and the beauty and the relatability of the novel are all in the written narrative which makes it hard to translate to the screen; yes, Danler herself wrote the scripts for the show which is promising. However, bringing something so personally resounding as this novel to the life is borderline impossible because the novel isn’t about Tess as a character the way the show will likely be. Tess is not a character to root for, the way most TV protagonists are. Tess is the worst parts of you, the last remnants of your childhood that slowly slip away when you aren't paying attention. She is what about ourselves we don’t want to look at because we know those are the things that define and construct who we truly are. By putting a face to this emotion, this sensation and realization, one closes off the personalization of the narrative we all share and just makes it about a girl trying to find her way in New York City, something we've all seen before.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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