As autumn arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, another astonishing, mind-expanding, psychotropic issue wraps up at Numéro Cinq. And we have contributions from Italy, Russia, Sweden, San Francisco, France, and Canada, to name a few. Nothing ordinary, everything fresh and original, a whirlwind of art.
This month features Stephen Sparks and his mesmerizing take on the What It’s Like Living Here series of essays. Sparks’ journey through San Francisco is not to be missed! Then from California to Russia — Russell Working returns to our pages with a memoir about a young American in Vladivostok in 1997; he finds true love and the ghost of Mandelstam. Working reads (and translates) many of the great Russian writers while spending five years living abroad. In a related piece, Russian photographer Valentin Trukhanenko provides lovely photographs of Vladivostok.
Patrick Keane’s powerful essay examines the sources of Emerson’s optimism in the face of tragedy. Numéro Cinq‘s capo di tutti capi, Douglas Glover, reprints his stellar essay on writing, “The Novel as a Poem.” I can say from personal experience this remains one of the most influential and important essays on writing I’ve ever read. Glover’s essay opens with an homage to his great teacher, Robert Day, and it’s with great pleasure that Numéro Cinq publishes the first installment of Day’s new novel, Let Us Imagine Lost Love. Day will publish the novel in serial form, spread out over seven installments in the coming months.
Lawrence Sutin’s follows his earlier novel excerpt in NC with a lovely, thoughtful essay on the music of Vladimír Godár. China Marks returns this month an enchanting series of stitched-thread drawings with embroidered text. Marty Gervais makes his Numéro Cinq debut with three wonderful poems. And Steven Axelrod reviews The Mehlis Report by Rabee Jaber.
Robert Vivian’s haunting, twirling ‘dervish essay’ reimagines language as a form of mesmerizing motion. Diane Lefer reports on teaching writing to paroled prisoners in California. Natalia Sarkissian takes the reader along on a disturbing trip in the Italian Alps.
Reviews this month from Eric Foley (Seiobo There Below by László Krasznahorkai) and A. Anupama (Pinwheel by Marni Ludwig). A photographic series from Abdallah Ben Salem d’Aix plays with color and shadow. R. W. Gray’s movie feature this month is Darryl Wein’s short film “Unlocked.”
Finally, we have poems from Swedish poet Boel Schenlær (translated by Alan Crozier) and David Celone’s translation of Václav Havel’s previously unpublished poem, “The Little Owl Who Brayed.” Celone also provides an essay on translating the poem into English.
A stunning array of work, and another example of the breadth and quality of what’s happening each month at Numéro Cinq. Spread the word!