Note from the editor
As an organizing principle for this issue, we decided to cluster texts which we (as the editors and first readers) see in some kind of conversation with each other. These clustered conversations pace your reading experience and enable you to easily enter the conversations that appeal to you. Some of our conversational clusters have a lot in common yet approach the shared topics from distinct perspectives. In other conversations, the pieces appear to have less in common, yet their adjacency brings a more faceted understanding to the subject at hand. It's rather like a party—which we wish we could host with all of you attending!
PUBLICATION OF THIS TWO-PART SERIES WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY A GENEROUS GRANT FROM KIM CHERNIN AND RENATE STENDHAL IN THE NAME OF EDGEWORK BOOKS.
For a whirlwind tour of our site, first check out our current issue with its wealth of writing and imagery dedicated to the question "Are Lesbians Going Extinct?" If you’re intrigued, next try the TRIVIA archives, which is divided into two sections. In the first section, TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism, you'll be able to read the past seven issues of our online journal, in their entirety. In the second section, TRIVIA: A Journal of Ideas, you'll find a list of authors and titles for each of the 22 issues of TRIVIA published from 1982 to 1995, with information on how to order.
If you'd like to receive an e-mail announcement when a new issue of TRIVIA is published, or when a call for contributions goes out, please send your name and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an essay written in 1983, Nicole Brossard wrote: "Une lesbienne qui ne reinvente pas le monde est une lesbienne en voie de disparition." (A lesbian who does not reinvent the world is a lesbian going extinct.) At that time, the phrase made very good sense. As writers, thinkers, activists, and in our day-to-day lives, we felt (many of us) compelled to reinvent a world in which we were for the most part invisible if not unthinkable, a world whose values we largely rejected. Today, over 20 years later, we are accepted, even embraced, by mainstream culture—as co-workers, wives, mothers, as TV talk show hosts and anchorwomen!—in ways we could not have imagined then. But how have we gained this inclusion? Have we gone quiet as lesbians (not denying our lesbianism but seldom foregrounding it)? Are we still reinventing the world? As writers, are we inventing new forms? Is there still a radical edge to the word "lesbian"? Or are we now, by Brossard's definition, a disappearing species?
Farewell from the editor
This will be the last issue of TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism to appear with myself as editor-in-chief, though I hope very much it will not be the last issue. My decision to step down in no way reflects ebbing excitement about the mission of this journal or waning conviction about its importance; if anything it seems to me that with every issue the writing in TRIVIA has been more accomplished and engaging, even as its mission becomes more vital. It's my own energy that's ebbing; lately I've noticed there is less of it to go around, and too many other projects are calling to me. In its almost six years as a web journal, TRIVIA has earned a reputation for intelligent, fearless, free-range feminist thought. It's one of the few venues left for institutionally unaffiliated thought of this kind, and it has a tradition of excellence dating back to 1982, when its foresister, the award-winning print journal TRIVIA: A Journal of Ideas, was launched. I would very much like to see this tradition continue into the next decade and beyond.
TRIVIA comes with a ready-made, user-friendly website, a domain name good through 2011, and a very solid readership base. In order to keep the journal free as it has been all these years, new editors, unless they can find a volunteer web publisher, would need the help of private donors or government funding. (Because more than half of our contributors hail from the U.S., TRIVIA has not been eligible for grants in Canada, even though its editors have been mostly Canada-based.). If you have felt inspired by the writing in TRIVIA and want to see this kind of writing continue to appear in print, please consider applying, or encourage friends to apply for this position. Requirements include: resonance with TRIVIA's mission, significant editorial experience, and a commitment to diversity. Send queries directly to me: email@example.com
Issue 11: "Are Lesbians Going Extinct?" #2
"I cannot do anything about it. I associate the lesbian body with an intelligent body, with an inclination for utopia and hope. I cannot do anything about it and indeed I like to repeat that it is my lesbian body which gave the best ideas, which inspired in me the greatest drift and transformed gaze into a vision." Nicole Brossard, from "Only A Body To Measure Reality By," in her book of essays Fluid Arguments, ed. Susan Rudy, trans. Ann-marie Wheeler. Mercury Press, Toronto, Ontario, 2005.
Table of Contents
We Live as Two Lesbians
Dinosaurs & Haircuts
To Be Real
Coming into Word
Matteo—Prince of Paris
Ending Patriarchy: Political Legacies of the 1970s Lesbian Movement
The Revolutionary Is the One who Begins Again
Always a Lesbian
Walking on the Moon
No One Lives Her Life
Coming out of the Straitjacket: Sapphism as Creative Space
Oscar of Between
Jill Johnston: The Audacity of Dyke