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Issue Five
April 2024

Issue Five has questions: How best to lose Eurovision? What is Russia-themed erotica about? And it has destinations, often anguished ones: refugees and guards on the Polish border, Russians in Istanbul, Europe’s noisiest island, early Zionist disillusionment in Palestine, a return to Phnom Penh. Javier Milei literarily considered, Vincent van Gogh’s forgotten friend, Walter Benjamin’s last resort, Hélène Cixous on fiery foundations, philosophy at sea.

Jesus in the pines
Zuza Nazaruk

Refugees and border guards in the Białowieża Forest. Scenes of violence play out behind a thick cover of trees, in a remote corner of Poland.

Jezus w świerkach
Zuza Nazaruk

Migranci i strażnicy graniczni w Puszczy Białowieskiej. Prastare drzewa ukrywają ekstremalną przemoc.

Review
The size of longing
Sudeep Dasgupta

On Jacob Israël de Haan’s Palestine and Arnold Zweig’s novel of post‑Zionist disillusionment

Essay
Noise’s grip
Clare Azzopardi, Leanne Ellul

On Malta, noise is the norm.

Pearl
« We are the winners of Eurovision »
Justina Buskaitė

Lithuania has lost the Eurovision Song Contest thirty times.

« Mes esame Eurovizijos nugalėtojai »
Justina Buskaitė

Lietuva pralaimėjo Euroviziją trisdešimt kartų.

Essay
Photographer, refugee, king
Patrick Doan

A family’s travelogue from Phnom Penh to Paris and back

Photographe, réfugié, roi
Patrick Doan

Carnet de voyage d’une famille entre Phnom Penh et Paris et le retour

Essay
« Ça ira! There will be fire and enthusiasm in you »
Sander Pleij

In search of Anthon van Rappard, Vincent van Gogh’s forgotten friend.

Essay
From the knacker’s yard
Fernanda Eberstadt

On the fallen animals loved by Heinrich von Kleist & Curzio Malaparte.

Pearl
What an animal isn’t
Madeline Gressel

Two vastly different books — one a picaresque tale, the other a dystopian meditation — both recount a transition from human to animal or from animal to human.

Review
Cannibalinguistics
Michael Erard

Language-learning and people-eating in Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi's The Centre.

Review
Moscow on the Med
Kate Elizabeth Creasey

Two winters in Istanbul. If you are a holder of a Russian passport, there are few places in the Western hemisphere that you can go without a visa.

Essay
Ice queens, sex machines
Fiona Bell

Insofar as erotica can ever be about something, what is Russia-themed erotica about?

Review
Last resort
Ian Ellison

On Dora Kellner, Walter Benjamin and the biography of a hotel

Review
« Everything starts with fire »
— Interview with Hélène Cixous
Hans Ulrich Obrist

Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews French-Algerian writer and philosopher Hélène Cixous.

Interview
The coldest, cleanest water in Europe
Ben Carver

Solitary sailing, and the philosophy thereof: What sort of writing is possible when the mind is at sea and so entirely occupied and swaddled?

Review
The anarcho-astrologer
Federico Perelmuter

Javier Milei, literarily considered

Essay