by Anil Menon
Frankly, it is a relief to be done with Issue 52. “A sort of profound, prayerful relief,” as Bertie Wooster puts it in one of the Jeeves novels. We have 21 contributions in this issue, of which 18 were all drawn from the submissions. Thus, some 500+ submissions had to be whittled down, sometimes with ease and other times with great difficulty and reluctance, to just 18 items. These are ridiculous numbers to deal with, and if we take pride in our judgment, then that same judgment will tell us that arbitrariness and luck cannot be ruled out in the outcomes of many many decisions. It didn’t help that editors fell sick, both serially and in parallel; the chief editor’s Mac malfunctioned just when it was most needed; and everyone apparently had other jobs. Not to mention families and departures and arrivals and gains and losses and of course the monsoon.
All worth it. We have a magazine issue that we are proud of. We have stories from Nigeria, South Africa, the United States, and India. We have poets who draw our attention to a wonderful variety of experiences. We subverted our text-centricity by launching our graphic fiction section with an author who believes words mostly get in the way of telling a story. Though both the visual narratives make political statements. Anjum’s piece uses photorealism, while Appupen’s work is an instance of what might be called bio-surrealism. In short, we wanted a literary magazine that valued the how as much as the why, welcomed writers from all the world, and published literature, uncommonly told. Issue 52 has stayed true to that desire.
So, pleased obviously. Now we’ll just have to do it all over again for Issue 53.