Do You See?
Why secret delights? Because while I actively guest edited the April issue of The Four Quarters Magazine (TFQM), I appeared a little tense on the outside. Not quite what you think. It wasn’t the work, the editing. It was rather problem of plenty, so to say. Which writers do I solicit and how do I choose from so many fantastic ones? I knew so many of them from their work; as well as knew quite a few of them personally.
But exactly that is why there were many reasons for delight, albeit secret. Here was I, vested with all powers by an executive editorial committee to handpick my best fiction writers, essayists and poets. And on top of that, I could actually ask some of those writers to contribute a particular something to the journal. And not only that, I could even request to see work-in-progress excerpts from some top writers and use them. My god. Just think of that privilege!
Of course, none of the above were carried out by me alone. The regular editors of TFQM made sure they kept me in sort of a comfort zone as regards the elimination-solicitation-selection process. I’m particularly grateful to poet and translator Arjun Chaudhuri for all the organization and execution. He is rock solid.
Obviously, being the guest editor, I would not have any contributions in this TFQM, barring the editorial. Here’s a snippet from there:
A lot has been written in the first editorial of TFQM about the way this journal has been conceived, designed and distributed with an aim to spread literature beyond borders and boundaries and at the same time, bring it closer home. The fascinating part is, TFQM straddles both tradition and digital modernity – it maintains the rare distinction of being simultaneously a print and a “downloadable” issue.
As the guest editor for this issue, I will straightaway address the wealth of reading material TFQM has brought again to our discerning readers. It was my singular privilege to go through brilliant submissions as well as solicit a few. Choices were not easy. The highlights of this issue are two writers of different genres that we are privileged to publish. And is it a coincidence that both of them permitted us to use their unpublished, under-revision work? It happens only in the happiest of fairy tales!
While poems from Adil Jussawalla’s forthcoming young readers’ collection The Right Kind of Dog and feminist-crime-thriller writer Ashok Banker’s chapter excerpt from The Blood Red Sari constitute the cherry on the cake, I’m particularly happy about showcasing a Translation section. It features Dalitbahujan Telugu poetry in English, translated by Naren Bedide. Read them on p 46-51, and in case you want to read more, go to the literary platform Shared Mirror and check them out. Good work, timely work.
The brilliant cover design is by Samik De, Kolkata.