Thursday, January 2, 2014

Line #77

Once upon a time Simon Fraser University had two literary magazines: West Coast Review, which specialized in the well-crafted monological poem, and Line, which did the same for progressive modern "language-based" writing. When they merged, they became West Coast Line.

Last year, under the editorship of professor/poet Jeff Derksen, West Coast Line dropped its locus for its gesture, and is now known as Line. As well, it trimmed off some height and width, while adding depth with respect to content and its relevance to what its editor cannot stop calling our "long neoliberal moment."

The current issue (#71) is devoted to a visit by Antoni Muntadas and is worth reading, particularly in light of what Foucault says in the video I posted yesterday on institutions and their critique. Yes, we hear from Muntadas, but we also hear from SFU scholars in a number of disciplines who speak candidly of their privilege while at the same time reminding us how the university is under threat from those neoliberal forces that Derksen and his kind are clocking.

One of the more notable pieces is not by a scholar but by a product of the university system: a Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate who works as a carpenter at SFU -- Julie Sawatsky. How refreshing to read a text whose hilarious and insightful prose mirrors the interruption of the maintenance worker when announcing herself (Knock, knock -- "Maintenance.") as a repairer of a wall some drunk freshman drove his fist into. If Jeff Derksen is the editor of SFU's literary magazine, Sawatsky is an editor of its doors, walls, hinges and windows.

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