I purchased Animal Shelter years ago on a recommendation. When looking for something new to read, I didn’t throw out words like “substance, or curious, or beautiful, but that is what I found and those were the things I cherished most in the journal.
On my night stand, I have a stack of issues of Preen magazine. Short-lived and born out of california, I picked up new issues every two months and then once a quarter and then not at all. A month ago, I began reading through the back issues, trying to capture the feeling of reading it for the first time. The layout was clean, writing enjoyable but not dumbed down, and editorials styled for a luxe version of the everyday. I wish I had known that the magazine would not last forever. I don’t keep things pristine. A part of me will always be an English literature student; the desire to underline and dissect passages of text is as present as ever. There will forever be little truths that reveal themselves in the most unlikely of places.
Back then, I described Animal Shelter as, “a beautiful, scrumptious, sometimes heartbreaking but usually sentimental.” After months and then years of no new issues (I occasionally scoured through the pages of the Semiotexte website in an act of desperation), I realized that Animal Shelter would be like many of my most cherished texts. It is not in its best shape. It was “too good” to let settle, and rather than stand as a testament to its perfection, it was beat up, dirtied, covered in pen marks and rambling thoughts. THIS! This right here! I saw again and again. It was a break from the confusion of the time in which I purchased it. Each time I went back to the first issue, I found that clarity. Take time to think, I often felt upon flipping the pages. Or more succinctly, take time.
And then yesterday I went to Quimby’s to purchase in bulk something I hoped would fill the void of a journal that lasted for one precious moment and then vanished. A little print-out sign said “NEW.” I looked up, there it was, only different and newer. It was issue two. In the forward, Chris Kraus said, “This issue is a kind of proof that nothing can actually turn out to be a lot. The editorial process was almost unconscious, not knowing how it would turn out until you were almost finished. This issue turned out to be a repose. But there’s a depth to the littoral.” That I can understand.
On love for magazines.