Young, Bohemian, Obsessed: Three Novels

By Stephanie Heeb

After three years of reading the books listed on a syllabus or on one of multiple reading lists, which were mostly filled with books from preceding centuries, last year was the year I fell back in love with contemporary fiction. Having the complete freedom to choose what I wanted to read, I browsed bookshops with immense pleasure and excitement. I read a lot and I read widely; from children’s fiction to classics to commercial romance. Only when I looked back recently, however, did I notice that three of my favourite books from that year showed significant, almost curious, similarities: all published after 2016, they were all written by young, Irish female writers, and all treat themes so similar, that I started interrogating myself about why it was that I was drawn to those specific books.

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Celestial bl(ack)ue

By Daria Galkina

If I am celestial blue,
Is there any celestial black?
In velvet,
Embroidered with beads?
In sequin,
Opaque and matted,
Noble.

Is there any celestial black?
In glory,
With cut out uncertainty;
Neat-handed
And with a lindy-hop talent
For dancehall?

Is there any celestial black
In grace?
Tits looking fit in décolleté,
Heels with the heels,
Glittery lipstick, smoky eyes –
Looking sharp?

If I am celestial blue,
Is there any celestial black?
23 y.o.,
Perky and beckoning,
Confident,
Red haired and weary,
Effeminate?

Hidden Swiss Treasures

By Alina Mamedova

What things or who are considered to be the main hallmarks of Switzerland? Swiss cheese? Swiss chocolate? Swiss knives? Swiss fondue and raclette? Roger Federer? Swiss banks? Well, and how about figure skating? In my experience, myriad people do not relate figure skating to Switzerland at all, and I cannot wait to show you that these two have a lot to do with each other.

Here, I need to take a little time with a preamble before pushing forward. I am myself a foreign student, who did not know much about Switzerland before coming here. What did I know about this amazing country? Of course, I knew that Switzerland was kind of a wonderland with its amazing nature, fresh air, the best chocolate in the world, ski resorts, and, strange to many of my Swiss friends as it may sound – Stephane Lambiel, Sarah Meier, and Denise Biellmann. The cream of the crop of Swiss and international figure skating.

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An English Student in Paris

Enora Maurer studies English and French at the University of Zurich. Since Septemeber of last year, she has been on an exchange in Paris, studying at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3.

Studying in Paris! Even as an English student it is an exceptional experience. Granted, I am not primarily in Paris to study English, as I am doing my exchange with the French department. However, last semester I was able to take English seminars from the “monde anglophone”, as well, which I really enjoyed. 

Of course, everybody had warned me that the level would be much lower here than in Zurich, as the stereotype that English is not considered a French speciality is deeply anchored in people’s minds (which, I have to say, was mostly contradicted within the “monde anglophone”). Having nevertheless been prepared for anything, I must say that I was positively surprised; or relieved, maybe, as I had expected much worse. For one, the work load for English seminars was much higher than for the French ones, so in that respect it is similar to Zurich. 

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Welcome back to ZEST

Welcome (back) to ZEST, The Zurich English Student newspaper.

We thought it was about time the site had a bit of a makeover, and now you can see the result – let us know what you think!

Don’t worry though – nothing has gone. All posts from 2011 to 2017 are safely stored in the archive where you’ll be able to find them easily if you search for a specific title, author or tag. Or just have a browse, there are some hidden gems to be found! If you’re interested in writing an article, a review or anything at all for ZEST, head over to the ‘About’ section or contact us on zest.editor@gmail.com. And remember, this is your paper – any feedback or suggestions are highly welcome.

Meanwhile, we have some exciting posts coming up, so make sure you follow the blog, or The Zurich English Student on Facebook and Twitter, to stay in the loop. 

Love,

The ZEST team

The Best Films of 2018

By Alan Mattli

A_The Best Films of 2018

According to my Letterboxd account, which I’ve started cultivating in earnest in 2018, I spent roughly 378 hours of said year watching movies – 206 of them, to be exact – averaging four viewings per week. Now, as the year has drawn to a close, it’s time once again to pick my favourites from that selection, as I’ve done on The Zurich English Student for the past seven years (’11, ’12, ’13, ’14, ’15, ’16, ’17). In 2018, I landed on a comparatively modest set of 15 films, though that is the result of perhaps a more rigorous decision-making process than in the past, which led to the shutout of such high-quality offerings as Steve McQueen’s Widows, Xavier Legrand’s Custody, and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

As usual, my list differs from those by the likes of David Ehrlich or Priscilla Page – to name just two of my favourite critics – in that it is missing a few essential players from the 2018–19 awards season (The Favourite, If Beale Street Could Talk) and instead includes a few familiar titles from last year’s Oscar campaign. The reason for this is the same as ever: my list adheres to the Swiss release schedule, which all too rarely coincides with its U.S. equivalent. So what follows are my top ten films that opened in Switzerland in 2018, preceded by five honourable mentions (highlighted in bold).

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She Has Time

Senar Arcak

This was amongst my very first attempts in creative writing. I have always liked stories with a bit of weirdness and tried to in this very amateur writing to bring about the idea that “We are all a bit weird sometimes” with unexpected qualities. I wanted to share it with you, I hope you enjoy it!

What is about time that makes it so precious? Isn’t it something that humanity imagines and then measures? For Sarah and Nova the timing of their meeting was a good omen. It was two weeks ago in a crossroad of Irvington when Sarah lost control of her bike and almost took Nova’s left eye out. She wished she were dead instead of embarrassing herself in front of such a handsome man. But when she saw Nova just staring at her, she could do nothing except for asking his name, in half a smile half a blush. But within her excitement and happiness she never forgot time was tricky and wondered if that was an illusion too.

Now, Sarah has just moved into a bigger place in Lane Road, Irvington, and she thinks it is time she invited Nova to her new place for their third date. She cannot stop herself from looking out the window to see Nova. She knows that he is supposed to be with her now, but she doesn’t check the time to know that. 

Her new place has a cozy kitchen with light wooden floors and a big white window above the sink. Even though the kitchen is invaded with the heavy and sour smell of baked potatoes, roasting duck, and wine, Sarah doesn’t open the window or the curtains. The curtains in the new house are almost always closed. The coziness of the new place is wounded by the dimness and thus a sullen quietness rules the house.

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