Winter Reading

VOLUME 20, Number 2: Winter Reading

d51a43c9-f505-44d6-8d52-26baee6a8294.jpgOf that “season in hell” I very well remember the twenty days that I was interned in the military mental hospital. The reason? One morning in the barracks at a very early hour, in less than ten minutes I very methodically drank a bottle of cognac, smoked hashish and kef, and took five amphetamines. Two hours later during the military drills, under the influence of that ferocious mixture, I shot my gun at the clouds. They asked what had gotten into me and I explained that I was crazy.

—ENRIQUE VILA-MATAS, “The Literature of No”

Hunter S. Thompson said “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” To us this means, when the world is at its most chaotic, problematic, and inscrutable, that is when the outcasts, misfits, and true artists are able to make sense of the senseless, or at least transmogrify the disorder into their own order. Emotional turmoil—even pain—promises renewal, renaissance, new journeys, new projects, fresh ideas. In this Winter Reading, we celebrate our weird heroes, upheaval, and the surfacing that must precede art. After all, if anyone can find meaning in entropy and turn to freeze into a flower, she’s an artist.

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Candy: You Know You Want It

VOLUME 19, Number 3: Candy

In my three months’ binge of Drag Race, while Violet Chachki experimented with new ways to cinch her waist, I experimented with backward baseball hats and letterman jackets. Under the influence of sequins and glitter, I figured out which boyish colors went best with my skin tone: navy, brown, gray, and dark green. Raglan became my favorite word. At the age of twenty-seven, I learned how to tie boat shoes. I bled breaking in my inaugural pair, like a new queen strutting in stilettos for the first time. . . . The advice I have for my boyhood ghost is something that’s never come out of a drag queen’s mouth. To him, I say, it’s okay to fit in—it’s okay to enjoy and flaunt the style of the thing that’s also oppressing you. 

—LOGAN SCHERER, “After the Glitter Ball

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