ISSUE 4: THE STATE OF UNION

The wait is over. Your months of pining shall soon cease. Issue 4 has officially arrived! Entitled “The State of Union,” Issue 4 includes poems by Ben Mirov, Matthew Zapruder, John Hennessy and Ben Lerner; fiction by Moze Halperin and Dwight Curtis; an interview with Mona Simpson and much more.  You can get your hands on a copy by subscribing to the magazine here, or you can stop by and see us tomorrow, Sunday, September 18, at the Brooklyn Book Festival (table #69). We’ll have copies for sale and mouths to converse with so come on down and see us!

For now, we leave you with Issue 4’s Letter from the Editors:

READER,

We conceived of this issue, “The State of Union,” as an answer to that historically recurrent vexation, namely: romance + modernity = [what, exactly?]. But our slippery topic defies objective reduction and ubiquitous application—it’s all very personal, this matter of Love. 

Indeed, the individualistic nature of Love exposes the lacunae of heroic philosophy, which necessarily emphasizes duty over liberty, hierarchy over self-determination. Perhaps no figure more clearly illustrates the Great Divide as Sappho, the lyric poet who scandalized all of Greek letters with her stunning assertion (to be, alas, forever paraphrased): “The most beautiful thing in the world is not the bloody, violent, noble death of a young man fighting for his city, but the face of the one you love.” This rejection of Homeric virtue, and genesis of a new literary consciousness of beauty, was nothing short of full revolution; all of the West owes its notion of beauty to her. For it, Sappho’s society hailed her as the best of the nine canonized lyric poets; Plato would be just one of many enthusiasts to call her the tenth muse.

All like-minded intellectual protestations seek similarly to renegotiate the qualities of knowledge, beauty, and agency: an individual’s privileges, or bondage? Together, they are best understood by reversing a certain Romeo’s rejoinder: “I see thou know’st me not; therefore farewell.”

If the qualities of Love are determined discretely, it’s lucky then that Literature—alone among the arts—is designed to illuminate that which is invisible and hidden; that the traffic in letters is the traffic in human thought and feeling. The arena of love demands no less than the revelation of one’s self; to love is to clutch at an other’s secrets and mistake that grasped for the ineffable.

No one steps into the dance hall without envisioning failure. This is not self-consciousness, but social consciousness. Divorced now from mad immemorial enthusiasm, dancing children steal glances no longer just towards their peers but also the lone chaperone.

Under such duress, who would dare to dance? For a reply, we can only hope for echoing footsteps; an echo affirms the space which allows us movement. Here is the proof, finally, of those vacancies wherein our answer resides.


THE EDITORS

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