Welcome to the banner sixth issue of The Wall, our modest triannual promulgation of world literature and the visual environment.
A virtual turn of these pages will bring you to Mark Wyers’ microfiction, as well as to the second in our series of Criminal Elements pocket anthologies, this one containing extracts from more lengthy prose works by Alan Learst, Thomas Carney and John Feffer. The former two are Wall 5 alums, and the latter is new to these pages.
We are also privileged to present a chapter of Marta Aponte Alsina’s novel The Happy Death of William Carlos Williams, both in English translation and its original Spanish.
Nor do these pages lack for poetry, including work by Rozann Kraus. Jan Schmidt’s essay in remembrance of her late friend and collaborator J.D. Rage contains a selection of poems by this multifaceted artist whose work encapsulates the spirit of the East Village’s Punk/No Wave era.
Nonfictionwise, we are delighted to re-present Joe Dimow’s account of his experiences as a Milgram experiment subject, first published in 2004. His piece feels especially resonant in our present political climate and makes an interesting companion piece to “Stories for Uncertain Times,” the third in Bronwyn Mills' ongoing series of Crime essays.
Add to the mix yours truly’s appreciation of Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” and a meditation on the cultural slippery slope of translation from the Chinese.
On the visual front, you’ll find further selections from Bill Gubbins’ astonishing images of Greater Nashville, This American Carnage, whose title ironically twists a phrase used by Donald Trump in his inaugural address. Taken together with Alan Learst’s documentation of Detroit’s vicissitudes, these images gesture toward a newly emerging photographic “literature” of protest.
This issue's Remarkable Reads: review and commentary by Bronwyn Mills on work by Kurdish Iranian, Behrouz Boochani, and a memoir about the last of the Black Mountain graduates by Martha King.
A time and space-warping Colophon and an updated News and Links page top off our (unofficial) Holiday Cornucopia of The Wall, into which we have built numerous portals. We hope you’ll have a fruitful time within. No visas necessary, just a desire to enter.
— Eric Darton for the Editors