Nostalgia

January 4, 2013

On my commute this morning, I read from an e-reader. I’d left my proofreading at home, and panicked that I wouldn’t make Monday’s deadline—forty-five minutes, to and from work, equals roughly fifty pages—then remembered that I’d e-mailed myself the book’s PDF and could access it on the reader. The entire experience felt strange and a little illicit, even though today you’ll find most people on their commutes using e-readers as books and game consoles (never the latter, I’ve vowed). Two months ago, for a while I was carrying three or four slim books everywhere, including the requisite exquisite Aira; I had picked up multireading again. I don’t think today’s divergence will change that, though lately my considerations for book purchases have leaned towards e-readerly texts (only I can’t find anything I want, such as Andrzej Stasiuk’s Fado, which would have helped me traverse Istanbul’s cobblestones a lot faster, a lot slower, a lot more internally and congruently).

Meanwhile, Ken Chen begins his introduction to Drunken Boat #16 with “And so” and ends it with the following sentence: “The only thing all these selves [in this issue] have in common is walking through the streets of the cities of the world.”

Indeed: when we “And so,” we are walking through the streets and thinking about things we’ve lost to the past. Or not thinking so much as reentering. We are reentering the path of our thoughts in the wake of these thoughts.

*

Again, my group of photographs in this issue.

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