In her lecture "Composition as Explanation," Gertrude Stein says, "The only thing that is different from one time to another is what is seen and what is seen depends upon how everybody is doing everything." She was speaking, ultimately, of her own writing—that was the purported subject of her lecture—but clearly the remark is meant to explain not only hers but really all writing.
I think this also explains some part of the thrill of editing The Collagist: that the work we publish is something like a collection of crystallizations of this difference in what is seen. There is a thrill, I mean, in discerning what is seen, what is being seen, and a curiosity satisfied in seeing how everybody is doing everything.
Anyway, I suppose I thought Stein's thought was worth sharing not only because I admire Stein and her lecture but because this seems to be a moment in which what is seen and how what is seen is seen are of vital importance. What is seen and how everybody is doing everything are things I think of everyday when I read the news. They are, in many cases, the news I am reading.
All of this is not to imply that the fictions, essays, poems, and reviews in this issue, or in any of our past issues, are somehow essentially or only au courant; I don't think that's the case, and I hope you agree. Rather, I think it is important that what is being seen, as demonstrated by the work presented in Issue 91, is survival, alienation, recrimination, loss, anomie, exasperation, invention, beauty, and also, quite naturally, what is seen.
As ever before, I thank you for stopping by and checking out the new issue. Because I cannot improve upon the ending of Stein's lecture, I'll merely quote it: "Now that is all."
Now that is all.