I’ve been thinking about what will become of me when favorite writer, Elena Ferrante, dies. How will I ever learn about the death of this ghostly, pseudonymous writer? How will I survive with the knowledge that she cannot write more? This, perhaps, is the danger of being possessed. I feel like a parasite, an organism unable to live on its own, paralyzed by the thought of a life without her. On the other hand, I’ve been so jealous of her prowess as a writer, that I have often wished she didn’t exist. I wonder what will happen to me in the face of her death and in its aftermath, if my mourning will ever evolve into ambivalence, even indifference. I cannot hide from the fact that I will only ever come to be, especially as a writer, when she abandons the world, when she leaves me in the lurch. For the time being, my self funnels through her words, bringing me at peace with language when, in order to write my story, I am in need of my turbulence.
Haley Petcher‘s phrase of ‘teeth and tongue’ comes to mind: the friction in their textures, flows, matter. I feel hungry for the teeth in my mouth. It is a similar urge to that expressed in Esther Sadoff‘s poem: “I want to be kneeling, wrist deep / in something pungent.” Going through the works we have chosen for this issue made me think about these ugly feelings, these desires which fraction our selves into unrecognizable parts. Consider Ajay Pisharody’s ‘Numbers,’ a story situated amidst the devastation in India caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, making life not only unrecognizable, but also impossible. I turn to Sara Murray‘s words: “I grip my mother’s hand: / it is a fossil of my own.” Think of that intimacy, too, and the lifelessness it can hold, sometimes against our wishes. I hope you find something in this issue, in these wonderful works and others, that resonates with you, with your storms and calm.
As we put out another issue, I want to hold space for these unsavory feelings. As we face another uncertain year, I wonder how we will survive, if we will resist forgetting, if we will learn to be again. On behalf of the editorial team, I would like to thank you for your submissions and for trusting us with your work. In this unpredictable landscape, in disquieting circumstances we cannot help, bringing out issues after issues of Inklette is a strange constant of sorts. I hope you see it the way we do, as a space that brings us together and that invites us to listen, to pause. If we can stand with you and pause, I believe we have accomplished what we hope to do. I would like to thank our editors who put in time and effort, care and attention and help these works be. I am grateful, unsure but I am here.
Thank you. Wishing you and yours best for the holidays and the new year.