Last year was a year defined by distance. Far from our friends and family members, we turned to other sources of comfort to keep us going. I turned to reading. Reading extended my world when it felt so small, gave the monotony of quarantine a sense of variety, made me laugh, cry and feel every emotion in between. But I am not alone in my appreciation of the humble book, magazine, or even campus rag… So, now that we are able to reconnect, it only seems appropriate to relish in the joy that reading has brought so many of us, not only in the past year, but throughout our lives so far.
Beyond the stunning ‘bookish’ cover painted by the very talented Xanthe Muston, Isabel Freudenstein takes us for a walk down memory lane, reminding us of the books that are woven into the fabric of our childhoods. Veronica Lenard tracks the highs and lows of reading challenges, Thomas Fotiou considers the intersection between fashion and literature, and Matthew Kelleher defends a literary genre close to his heart. Casey Zhu contemplates why we should boycott the works of male writers, and Noah Corbett uses a series of predominantly male writers to convince us that not understanding is part of the joy of reading. Finally, I, your humble editor, contemplate how the works of Maggie Nelson have shaped the way that I perceive the knotty subject of cruelty.
I am left in awe week after week at the quality of submissions that fill this paper, and am indebted to the people that have given up their time to make this edition one that I absolutely adore. I am also appreciative of the diligence of my editorial team, who care about this paper enough to come back to the editing dungeon week after week for another round. But I am most grateful for you, dear reader, for supporting the works of student writers and artists, for keeping this paper in circulation, and for indulging my periodic ramblings.
I spent my primary school years sitting beside my father on the train as he struggled with a print newspaper the size of a small tablecloth. He was not alone in this battle, around half the carriage was filled with similarly avid newsreaders, sections of the paper flying as they partook in a chaotic form of origami to engage with the day’s headlines. Today, I board the train and there is not a newspaper in sight – just faces buried in various devices.
Perhaps my affection for print media is clouded by nostalgic delusion, but as I observe its slow death, my heart is warmed an irrational amount by the continuation of the print circulation of Honi Soit. I cherish the ability to hold this edition in my hands, and hope that you enjoy reading the insights within these pages as much as I have.