Brittle Star 42.jpg
Brittle Star 42.jpg



Pages (PDF): 152
Publisher: Brittle Star
Purchase includes: PDF




There is a justifiable impulse in all writers not just to write, but to have the work received; by a reader, a listener, a viewer even in our age of YouTube and Instagram. We tell ourselves we write for ourselves and, while there is some truth in this, it is, more or less, a lie. Many people, I know, will contend this with me, but you’re reading this editorial in a literary magazine, one that may or may not have published work you’ve written, so bear that in mind, please, when you do. That we write to be read is part of the food chain, one in which we’re nourished and we provide nourishment for others. How does the cliché go? She read the words, hungrily. It’s the hunger that pains us, gives us the shakes, drives us to be sated. We are a text-hungry world, even while we’re still told the message’s medium is the image. Watching the recent friendly match between England and Costa Rica, I was enthralled not just by Welbeck’s goal (we came in late and missed the first goal) or the lovely interplay of passing the ball back, forth and on, but by the rolling advert screens. I must have watched them for a good long minute: Search Lidl, Search Vauxhall, Search Mars. No images that I could see, just simple imperatives for us in an online world.

I think much about the way we use words, why out of all the species on Earth we have two distinct forms of language: spoken and written and, extending this, how splintered language is into other languages. But is splintered the right word? It implies a single core of language that has been shattered, perhaps, or if not so dramatic an act, at least broken up in some way; that a language not our own is a remnant of a damaged thing. And that certainly isn’t the case. When we write, in whatever language, there are commonalities of being human. In writing workshops and in literary criticism we call this ‘universality’ but that implies the universal lived experience is only human, which it isn’t. It’s a small universe if it is. Sharing in these commonalities is part of the hunger; I read to sate that part of me that needs to make sense of the world. I read short fiction but especially poetry to make sense of it more acutely, more distilled, than other forms of writing allow… (Editorial extract, by Jacqueline Gabbitas)

Issue 42 of Brittle Star includes poems and stories by Dan Spencer, Di Slaney, H Alder, Ingrid Leonard, J Mellor, Jim Conwell, John Greening, Josep Chanza, Julie Burke, Julie-ann Rowell, Kathy Pimlott, Kenneth Pobo, Kitty Coles, Miriam Patrick, Patricia Leighton, Pippa Hennessy, Ray Malone, Robert Etty, Sarah Whiteside, Sue Spiers, Tina Preston, Victor Buehring, Zhanna Sizova.

Columns by Wayne Burrows – Rainwater Puddles on a Crazy Golf Course and Sarah Passingham – Finding Flow

Articles by Robert Chandler on Vasily Grossman & an excerpt from ‘Stalingrad’ and Joolz Sparkes and Hilaire – London Undercurrents

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