A scholar and fan of “life writing,” Anna Poletti nails their “Six Theses on Literature” to the door of our Polity of Literature cathedral, asking what paradoxes and contradictions might lie nascent within this project.
Readers who love what they read sometimes become writers of the same stories. They call it “fan fiction,” even if copyright lawyers call the police. Juli Parrish asks what happens collectively when the line between reading and writing dissolves.
A Rotterdam activist tells the story of his neighbourhood’s recent effort to make its own reading room after the local library branch closed.
In the space of her writing the legendary Kathy Acker found an arsenal of voices that gave her agency and opened readers and writer to a volatile politics. Her biographer, Jason McBride, recalls Acker’s boldest, early efforts.
A polity of literature can assemble in myriad ways and places. American artist and writer, Anne Focke, considers two examples: the “parallel polis” of 20th-century Czech resistance to Soviet domination; and a practice called “the dynamics of difference,” rooted in the work of Native American tribes in the Humboldt Bay area of California.
In Berlin, writer and philosopher Fred Dewey created a functioning polity of literature by inviting small groups of strangers to meet, discuss, and read out loud from Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition.