Quarterly Journal: No 27, Mistake Issue

Featuring: Claudia Durastanti, Peter Lunenfeld, Katherine McKittrick, Shayla Lawson, Hrag Vartanian, Sophia Armen, Aram Ghoogasian, Megan Ward, Diana DePardo-Minsky, Kazim Ali, Marilyn Hacker, Karthika Naïr, Alexandria Hall, Rae Armantrout, Melissa Seley, Maureen Mahon, Terese Marie Mailhot, Sarah Etter, Jordan Tucker, Jan Wilm, & Eileen Myles
Featured Artists: Tauba Auerbach, Willem De Kooning, Julia Leonard, Jasper Marsalis, Mark Rothko, Hedda Sterne, Bradley Walker Tomlin


Dear Reader,

It seems redundant to dedicate an entire issue to Mistakes at a time like this, when it feels like we have been living in a recurring mistake for many months now, perhaps years. We have seen mistakes happen on a global, national, and communal scale, with incredible repercussions. At the same time, personal mistakes have become public, and regret — whether genuine or not — a public performance. The very definition of a mistake seems uncertain. Are they purposeful or accidental? What is the proper response to a mistake? And when does mistake become a euphemism for tragedy or cruelty or injustice?

This issue dedicates itself to many types of mistakes. Claudia Durastanti writes about translating The Great Gatsby into Italian and rewriting past imprecisions. A roundtable of Armenian-American scholars debate the history of Armenian immigration, whiteness, and citizenship. Philosopher Katherine McKittrick writes about Nina Simone, the slippery experience of color, and language. Megan Ward discusses the dangers of understanding whiteness as a form of “blankness”. Shayla Lawson breaks down the critical role of Black women in racial justice. Diana DePardo-Minsky recounts the many ways that Trump misinterprets and misuses traditional American iconography. Eileen Myles talks about the merits of sloppyness. We’ve followed their advice for this issue’s cover.










August 2020