From the Editors
As Wintersession melts away and leaves us poised on the cusp of Springtime, we wonder whether our readiness is a result of feeling rested or well-worn. The five-week term isn’t an abbreviation as much as it is a compression, whittled down and intensified all at once. Such is the nature of interludes, the time between (inter-) play (ludus). And as we all know too well, it’s often the in-between time that proves most playful. This inaugural Wintersession issue of v.1 is one such interlude, printed and bound in-house for the first time and potent enough to leave a trace of risograph ink upon the mind and fingers. Here in your hands is an act between acts, a play within the play—not unlike the academic month of January.
While one essay sets the stage to consider abstract audiences, other authors offer literary, literal stages: stand-up comedy at the cemetery gates; Act Two of a play set in Texas, in which a mighty river is coaxed into speech. Elsewhere, a river in the city oozes petroleum, ripe for jam. A sprinkle of salt. Writers reflect on inherited superstitions and geographic tugs that hint at what is lost, gained, retained between generations and continents. After all, any interlude squeezed between seasons is bound to interrupt our sense of time and place. The February sunset crawls mercifully towards 6 o’clock. Suddenly, we’re the ones putting on the show.
Any remnants of wistful holiday magic and turn-of-the-decade fanfare have begun maturing into something more planted and determined, ready for roots. A dream of Caracas is filtered through Madrid and Google Street View, enriched rather than diluted. Herb butter carries less baggage than pilfered jewels, and tastes better anyway. In feats of literary sensemaking, authors negotiate with reality and offer various models of selfhood—a balloon without beginning or end? A cocoon of past and future electrons?
Best as we can, we steady ourselves and we conceive of ourselves. We seek ground and grit for a semester (the grand finale for half our editorial team!) that will demand in proportion to all it promises. As before, v.1 is here to capture your mindful meanderings and fixations in any form they’ve been aching to take. This time we leave you with a performed script, a bilingual poem, a phenomenological theory; perhaps next season will bring experimental podcasts, satirical webcomics, oral histories, fissures in the fourth wall. The curtain lifts.
Irina V. Wang