Almost anonymous

A quick trip to the bookartbookshop this week led to a new zine purchase, fabulously titled So, you are one of those popular boys that loves to play with bookish girls. The content is in three parts, written in English, French and Spanish (I think it’s Spanish), littered with faded reprints of photographs and YouTube screengrabs. It’s the look of the thing, the object-ness, that led to me picking it up, printed as it is on the kind of paper that feels like it’s going to degrade, leaving only a cover behind.

The English segment is an odd read, a dialogue between two – well, ‘lovers’ seems to be pushing it… ‘fuckers’ perhaps? – that’s clearly been translated, but carefully enough that it feels broken only infrequently, faltering by design. I’ve got no idea what the other bits say, and I don’t mind either because there’s so much about this object I’ll never know, so finishing the content feels like a betrayal of all the other mysteries.

I bought it without context, I’ve no idea if it’s part of a collective effort, I’ve no idea who the authors are, I’ve no idea how to find them… all of that stuff is willfully obscured. I find that absolutely appealing and completely ugly at the same time.

I still get people finding my blog on Google after searching for information about the Los Campesinos! tour ‘zine ‘Because We Cannot Lie All Night Together’. So far as I can tell I’m the only person who blogged about my contribution. Every other contributor entered into the process open to being obscured. I can understand why because of the content, but as someone wanting to find more by these creators it’s deeply frustrating. Gareth never let me know who the others were. There are, I guess, maybe half a dozen people who do know. It feels strange to be in that position, the only one breaking cover.

I like that I can be found. I like the idea that I can be in a position to take the flak for things I put out there. I might not respond to it, but I can hear it. It remind me of a conversation I had with Kieron back when he lived in Bath, where a very passionate (very drunk) Matt said that people really had to do that, that even people writing under pseudonyms should have a fidelity, should respond in that context. Of course it’s complicated, sometimes, but I probably still believe something like that.

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