Queer Content #4 – An Essay on W.H. Auden’s ‘Another Time’
Social Media: @QueerContent
I’ve had this zine for a little while now, but I wanted to make sure to save it until I had the proper amount of time (slow reader, here) and space to really take this one in. Plus, I was a little worried that it would all go over my head…
The title really says it in that Queer Content #4 features an essay on W.H. Auden’s ‘Another Time’ along with an introduction from Wolfram in regards to the creation of this essay and why it’s important. I did find it a bit amusing that I was so intimidated by an essay – and one featuring poetry, no less – only to read:
Now I’ve never been great at academia, alright? This isn’t going to be a top-notch essay that will convince you of anything (I certainly didn’t get a good mark for it).
But the important part – and what this zine is all about – is what comes next:
What I’d like you to consider is how denying homosexuality a positive identity within a text – particularly when that text is written by a queer writer and/or intended for queer readers – can have a negative impact on both your interpretation of the text and the visibility of queer folk everywhere.
This is definitely a text-heavy zine with a lot to think about. Honestly, even from the first page, some things went over my head. However, when Wolfram gently but unmistakenly called out the lecturer (dayum!) who glossed over the subject of Auden’s homosexuality at the start, I knew I had to keep going.
As I said, some of it went over my head. Even so, Wolfram’s writing in and of itself is easy to understand and gave me a lot of small nuggets of information to ponder. Things that I simply don’t encounter in my life experience. The poems Wolfram decided to include along with the essay added to the essay very well. They were beautifully sad in such a wistful way.
I really want to share the last paragraph of an essay because it’s sad and beautiful in the same way that the poems included in this zine are, but alas, that would be like giving away spoilers. No one likes spoilers.
I appreciated the bibliography. You might think ‘it’s an essay – of course there’s a bibliography’. However, it would have been easy to leave it out. However, not only is its inclusion a way to find further reading but also says that just because it’s a zine doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of respect and form.
In the end, I think the essay did what it set out to accomplish. I found myself being frustrated along with Wolfram at the denial of such a huge part of one’s identity can be damaging both within a life as well as within historical context. I felt like this essay was, at least in part, Wolfram’s way of ‘taking back’ Auden’s homosexuality and putting it back within the proper context of his poetry and identity.
I hope you all have had a good weekend independent of celebratory or familial status. I spent most of the weekend having a great time with planning for a bigger, better, even more organised 2017. (Yep, organising is a good time for me.) Plus, this is the year when, pending everything going well, SeaGreenZines will be moving base! I’m looking forward to having a ‘forever’ base of operations.
Anyway, enough about that. Time for the mail!
Forgive the camera lens cover. No, Billy didn’t send me one. (Though I could use a spare.) When the ‘cover’ of your zine is also part of your zine, I get a little bit nervous about showing all the goods. Haha. 😉
Billy has been going through a bit of a rough time of late, so if you can, give him a bit of extra support in whatever way speaks to you. That he’s sent me this from all the way in the States makes me feel very, very lucky.
Sweet surprise mail – with zines! Squee! Emma from Puddle Side Musings took me completely by surprise with this unexpected letter and ziiiines! Pieces just so happens to be one of my favourite zine series, so I’m extra extra thankful for the lovely surprise. (That’s not to say that Ker-Bloom isn’t awesome too, of course!)
Sneaky last minute local mail! Wolfram-J VK of Queer Content fame snuck in on the last day the post office is open for four days. I wasn’t expecting anything, really, but there it was! It’s my very first issue of Queer Content, so I’m very, very excited. Plus, Victoria and Queensland seem to have this weird delay with mail (seriously, I’ve had things from the States arrive faster), so it’s a relief as well to see this safe and sound.
That’s all the happy mail for this week. Sending you all wonderous, happy vibes for the silly season and the new year to come!