– Rosalind Porter –
simple in its methods, Keizer takes this quotidian chore and uses it as a platform to discuss all manner of things: capitalism, marriage and modernity, to name only three. Affectionate yet authoritative, this essay brilliantly captures the many moods of the form itself.
In ‘The Future of Nostalgia: Orhan Pamuk and the Real Imaginary Museum’, Patrick McGuiness argues for the importance (and the usefulness) of nostalgia which, along with melancholy, morbidity and introspection (nostalgia’s ‘bandmates’) gets a bad rap for being solipsistic. But McGuiness, by way of Orhan Pamuk, shows us how a longing for the personal past can give us a stronger perspective on a communal future.
Most of us didn’t know anything about ‘commonplace dachas’ in Russia until we read ‘Dacha’ by Dasha Shkurpela. With its uncertain meandering through the meanings of temporary and permanent summerhouses in the Russian countryside – its questioning and hesitating – this essay threw up strange and surprising links between trains of thought.
As did ‘Losing the Nobel’ by Laura Esther Wolfson, another unapologetically personal essay which touches effortlessly on the mirage of regret without any hint of self-pity. It’s also a wonderful introduction to the work of Svetlana Alexievich, whose work I would urge anyone to read, and a superb meditation on translation and interpretation, and the nuanced differences between them.