Twelve Ten is a first step
It’s a space to look at
write and talk about
the world we live in
in all its myriad forms.
When it comes to (social) media these days, for a lot of people the choice seems to be: “Do I want to be ~incandescently enraged~ or do I want to have a pretty ok, mellow day?”* If the choice is the latter, avoiding The News is absolutely necessary. With the daily buzzsaw of yell-y tweets that ruin everybody’s lives for another 24 hours, The News is a guaranteed mood-destroyer, whether because it’s so depressing, infuriating, horrifying, or because it’s all three at once. Othertimes the planet just seems to hate humans (understandably, some might say), but most of the time it’s humans who are very [redacted].
Which is why this Twelve Ten edition is about other things: Home, for one, what it means to be a ‘me’ these days (tough one, I know), grief, friendship, memory, reading (of course), and how history often happens while you’re trying to get your shopping done: it’s just a part of life until, suddenly, it’s That Thing That Happened Back Then Oh My God There’s A Movie Now.
I hope you enjoy these articles and essays and that they help you step out of the world for a bit, while also stepping into it a little more.
*Granted, for many, ~incandandescently enraged~ is no longer optional…
* * *
Defining Your Space
Class is something nobody likes to talk about, possibly because nobody can escape it. There is no hiding from class: like air, it’s everywhere, in the very way a person lives their life as well as all those deeply-held beliefs as to why everything is just so. In the following interview, Sarah Smarsh speaks movingly about her childhood in the USAmerican countryside, and how it was to see ever more clearly how she fit into the greater narrative of Home and Land that infuses daily USAmerican existence.
Identity and Intersection
in·ter·sec·tion·al·i·ty | \ˌin-tər-ˌsek-shə-ˈna-lə-tē\
: the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups [Kimberlé] Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality, the idea that when it comes to thinking about how inequalities persist, categories like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct.— Adia Harvey Wingfield
Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, writes in the following about the liminal spaces within the framework of her life as a Haitian-American woman, born to a middle-class family living in the Midwest and now living with all the accoutrements of a well-known, well-read writer and academic (Gay teaches English Literature at Purdue University). Navigating the coordinates of one’s daily life is never easy, let alone without pitfalls, yet in this concise piece Gay is able to illuminate the oscillating tension within the Bermuda triangle of class, race, and gender.
One of the Jonathans
Jonathan Franzen, writer.
And close friend to the late famed writer David Foster Wallace.
To many, this may be all one needs to know about one of the Jonathans. Franzen begs to differ, elaborating in his New Yorker essay on what being a writer and a friend of a posthumous superstar writer means to him. Franzen tries to come to terms with the suicide of his close friend and (possibly) writerly rival, while travelling to an extremely remote island in what was once known as the Antipodes. Drawing a woozy arch from Alexander Selkirk to Robinson Crusoe to himself, Franzen writes about writing and writers and himself, (noticeably sidestepping any mention of past or present Man Fridays, though he couldn’t get around acknowledging that cannibals were once part of the story) while analyzing just what it means to be the friend of a famous dead (white) man.
A Good Reader
Maria Popova’s Brainpickings are always worth a read, though beware: it’s easy to get sucked into the library-esque labyrinth of her excellent reading lists. Here, Popova looks at W. H. Auden’s notes on reading, and how good reading is a necessary skill. A thoughtful insight into a deeply creative mind.
If you’re feeling nostalgia for the good/bad old days:
Christian Bale is out there channeling Dick Cheney. Yes, you read that right.
Here’s the trailer.
Prepare yourself for thrills and chills when watching the prequel to Now.
In late September there was a Banned Books Week, and Penguin Books UK put out a few reminders of what’s been deemed unsavoury for unsuspecting presumably innocent minds. If you have an autumnal craving for forbidden fruit, here’s some reading material…
We hope you enjoyed our thirteenth edition. Twelve Ten, No. 14 will be published on
12 January 2019.
We are sad to say that submissions are currently closed. We are unfortunately unable to take on any new manuscripts at present.
Even so: Don’t give up. Keep on writing!
Once submissions are open again, we will be very glad to hear from you.
Your von reuth Team