I feel like it would be a disservice to this zine to say it’s about ‘words’, and yet it is. However, it’s also about interesting words, language, strange words, strange ways to learn words (who knew old ‘learn to read’ books were so… somewhat disturbing?), finding poetry, zines, and more. There is even an interview with Manija Brown, a writer who has done manga adaptations.
So there it is: about words and yet so much more than words.
The La-La Theory 6 starts off with Katie pondering whether the thought that language is what makes us human. That reminded me of Let’s Communicate and how language can be so much more than what we humans usually think of it. When I dove straight onto that thought train into the world of world and language, I knew I had a winner.
This zine is fun and engaging in a calm way right from the start. The little things drew me in like how Katie mentioned this zine was a way of coming back to the spirit of the first La-La Theory. Even the somewhat/sort of incomplete table of contents had me smiling.
What a fun way to point to a few specific pieces.
Katie goes on to include brief etymologies (the history of a word’s meaning) of various words, a few reviews of very strange old language use books, and a piece about words that don’t have direct English translations.
The piece in this that spoke the most to me “On Finding Poetry”. I’ve said plenty of times that I don’t ‘get’ poetry and have always felt a little uncomfortable about that. So when I read this piece, I felt like Katie may as well have been talking directly to me…
A lot of the people I know feel shy about poetry. They’re not sure they understand it, they’re embarrassed of the poems they wrote when they were really young, and they’re certain they couldn’t write anything good now if they tried. But I know different: Anyone can write poems, and everyone should.
I would have bet money on me never writing a poem again and no one ever being able to convince me to do so. And yet, Katie’s surety about and love for poetry (along with tips on ‘finding’ poems) has me thinking about trying my hand again for the first time in many years.
I quite enjoyed this zine and taking in Katie’s love of words. I’m looking forward to tracking down more issues of The La-La Theory.
Friday Night in West Ealing #76
This is one of those zines that I know I’ve had for a while, but I can’t really recall where or when I picked it up. Though I do strongly suspect Sticky Institute.
Friday Night in West Ealing #76 is a strong representation for how a zine can work in true simplicity. The entire zine is a double-sided piece of A4 paper that’s folded, type on the inside and handwritten on the front/back. It’s purely words – written or typed – with no illustrations but for a few hand-drawn hearts on the inside. The experience of it is somewhat like a newspaper – opening it up to read one bit and then unfolding the rest to get the whole story.
The “only words” approach in the zine world doesn’t seem like it should be that different, but it is enough for me to write this sentence saying it is.
Sometimes I wonder about my luck with things – especially zine things – because other people might not be interested in slice of life type of reading that concerns moving from an old wallet into a new wallet with all the things that get lost and forgotten in old wallets. But for me? I love finding out what people have in their purses, wallets, bags, etc.
What I love even more though? Fluid story writing. Writing that carries you along gently without you even being aware that you’re going somewhere. Writing that starts with a 22 pound umbrella and ends with putting the past away in favour of letting a new collection of wallet artifacts creep into your wallet over the years. There is something beautiful and wonderful about the small moments of a life, and I think that’s why this zine is on #76 and is still going.
The yellow of the paper is actually a lot more pleasant than what is displayed in the photo above. I love my camera, but combinations of sucktastic lighting and my limited knowledge of whether it’s best to up the brightness or exposure (or something else?!) make for some poor visual translations.
There’s certainly a mystery to this zine with only an email address on the back. It’s usually a bug bear of mine to have to go hunting for more details, but… I think it kind of works for this zine.
Don’t point back to this post when I grumble about it on other zines, though, okay?