Author Archives: Joel D. Hirst

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).

The Arriving Ordeal

Originally posted on Joel D. Hirst's Blog:
The Harmattan billows above blotting out the sun, dust coalescing with diluted traces of the acrid garbage fires that warm the ditch beyond the potholed road and the wood smoke from the…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Return of Pessimism

During the heady days of hubris which now seem so long ago but in reality were only a few months back, I was often accused of pessimism. The world, as I saw it, was not headed to a good place. … Continue reading

Posted in America, International Affairs, philosophy, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Giving Up On Hemingway

OK, I give up. “Screw it,” as I’ve been yelled at for saying. Life is too short. 2000 books, that’s what I think I have left to read in my life. One a week; ambitious for sure but I’m trying. … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Caravanserai

I am not a normal travel blogger; not a travel blogger at all really. I frequent the lost places, and sometimes I write about them. It is an uncommon world we live in, that is what the great lockdown has … Continue reading

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

98.6 – A Novel by Leon Surmelian

It’s odd to review a novel about tuberculosis while on lockdown cowering from a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands in a matter of weeks. That statement is even strange to write. Had I read this novel only three … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

In Days of Pest – A Poem

‘Putrid vapors’ did the plague they bring? Miasma fetid, stench that brings the blight? Or was it God who cursed and brought the thing? That robs us of our loves in dead of night. From when it came, so sudden … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Fight That Unites Us

It is amusing, and sad somehow to watch the continued desperate efforts of some to regain the hard-fought and rapidly-abandoned days of American Marxism through angry Twitter videos and fiery Facebook speeches repeating their tired (and now ignored) call to … Continue reading

Posted in Liberty, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

“Lord of the Rings” #LOTR

“Lord of the Rings”, or #LOTR as it has been dubbed following the filming of two series by Peter Jackson, one quite good and then the Hobbit three-part series virtually unwatchable – garbage in technicolor. He forgot, in that filming … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, philosophy, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

We Too, Like You, Were People…

Yerevan in the summer is like a ‘poor man’s Paris’, or maybe Paris in the 50s, after the war had ravaged the economy and the country was recovering from German occupation but there was renewed hope and the nostalgia of … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Literature, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

It Really Wasn’t So Bad, Before The Mayhem…

It’s difficult to articulate, much less to narrate the sense of loss those of us in distant places are feeling watching America’s epic struggle. I am, and have been for some time the King of Lost Places – a reign … Continue reading

Posted in America, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment