Issue 4 | October 2020

Letter from the Editor

The previous installment of this journal—Issue 3—was published in April, just as the pandemic was metastasizing into the full-blown world-historical event we now know it to be. Six months later, our mental and physical landscapes have profoundly and irrevocably changed. It is possible that we should, with this still-young journal, be attempting to be more explicitly topical in response … and yet, it seems to us that publishing the thoughtful essays we have here remains our best and most useful contribution to what used to be called the discourse. All of the essays and letters here, of course, have been shaped—sometimes explicitly, sometimes subtly—by our disturbing new realities. We leave it to you, our readers, to determine if, or how well, they hear the music of our current moment.

Michael Lindgren

Sandpaper for the Brain

On Mindless Mediatainment

by Mariah Kreutter

Machine Marionettes

On the Drama of Artificial Intelligence

by Kat Mustatea

Rule of the Bone

On Corsetry and China

by Lucia Tang

Sweden’s Gate

On the Life and Literature of Selma Lagerlöf & Nelly Sachs

by Stephanie Newman

Letter from Kenya | Donald Ngonyo

Letter from Los Angeles | Mae Cromwell

Letter from Croatia | Ash Merscher