Los Angeles Review No. 12by Kate Gale
The Los Angeles Review started off with a small group of editors in Los Angeles and work mostly by L.A. writers. We’ve expanded through the years and now the editors are spread throughout California and the Northwest (plus one in Michigan). What unifies the journal is a focus on the writing of the Left Coast, on the way that the writing of the/i>
The Los Angeles Review started off with a small group of editors in Los Angeles and work mostly by L.A. writers. We’ve expanded through the years and now the editors are spread throughout California and the Northwest (plus one in Michigan). What unifies the journal is a focus on the writing of the Left Coast, on the way that the writing of the West works outside the framework of the traditional and the academic, pushes back against writing that fits into small spaces, writing that was written for a small group of elite intellectuals.
Many of these stories look forward and backward at the same time, at what was and what could have been, at what will be and what could change. Writing in the West continues to evolve and move forward over the edge. It is the writing of desire.
My definition of the writing of the West comes from my play, The Moon Landing is a Hoax. We write about:
Sky, clouds, water, hiking, boats, machines, wide open spaces, grasses, mountains, caves, racks of antlers, mustard seed growing, wild orchids, waterfalls, fat people, hairy people, ugly people, dipshits, trailer trash people, truck drivers, soldiers, gypsies, Mexicans, nuclear bombs, test sites, Las Vegas, military bases, guys that work on cars, half wits from Kansas, women with no teeth and curlers in their hair in case they go out later and all of us eating the dark that is America.
Flynn Berry’s “Surfing,” the story of a man, as told by his brother, growing to adulthood, becoming addicted to drugs, going through one rehab stint after another, ends like this:
“Here is what I want, out of the many, many things I want. I want to go to Berkeley to our old house in 1987. I want to hang out with my brother when he is four, when he is bright and goofy. His hair is blond and he is three feet tall…. Below us is the wide shining bay, with no trace of the fog he loves to watch come in… I will tell him to be brave. That he will be fine. If I think about it closely enough, maybe it is true. Maybe it is happening right now, in one of the universes, in one of the dimensions that I can’t see. He tilts his head, voice excited, telling me about a supernova. There, smell the eucalyptus. Try to imagine it better. Nothingis unattainable.”
And that is what the work in LAR wants to believe. That we can push ourselves to the edge of the world and reinvent story, language, what is possible.
- Red Hen Press
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