New Theme // Feb/Mar // Zin, Sentence

With the start of February, we’ve reached the end of our first bi-monthly theme which focussed on Birthmark. Seeing the plethora of writing and other creative endeavours people have published, really proved to us that there is a demand for a platform like Paratext. It’s been an amazing experience to offer people a welcoming environment to experiment and publish beyond the academic curriculum. The next two months, we hope to equally inspire and provoke contributing writers and creators with our new theme: Zin/Sentence.

In February and March, this theme will not only emphasise the bilingual aspect of our platform, but also serve as an easy steppingstone in the creative process due to the inherent ambiguity of both the words exact meanings.
‘Zin’ can of course be interpreted as meaning a line of text, and this corresponds directly to the English meaning of the word ‘sentence’. ‘Zin’, however, can also refer to ‘meaning/betekenis’, as in the meaning of life. It can also mean ‘desire/begeerte’, and not only in a sexual manner but also as in having a craving for something. It is, for instance, possible to have ‘zin in kaas/a craving for cheese’, but this would be the non-adult connotation for ‘zin’.
‘Sentence’ on the other hand, has a whole different array of connotations to work with. As we saw before it can signify a line of words that conveys a meaning. The lines you’re reading now make up a sentence, but when we would use the same word as a verb we’d suddenly be convicting someone. Continuing that judicial line of thought, it is also the punishment that is assigned to someone by a court. This would furthermore revert the ‘sentence’ to a noun once more and subsequently link it to the initial, textual interpretation.

As you can see, the possibilities and connections with regards to zin/sentence are endless. We’re very eager to see what new and interesting creations people will bring to the website. As always, if you’re interested in writing something for Paratext, don’t hesitate to contact us at We’re constantly looking for new contributors, and we’re open to almost any (in)sane idea. So, grab your pen, pencil, camera, mobile, laptop or whatever creative accessory you need and publish something!

In case you missed it, here are some of the creations that Birthmark brought forth:

Liesa van Dyck wrote about the ambiguity of the compliment.
Robin van den Brule problematized our attempts to communicate with one another.
Kees Müller’s short story lured us into an illusory world where we had friends.
Lucia Dove created a poem that beautifully blurs the line between the bodily and the ecological.
Saskia Soelaksana focused our attention on cultural differences through the use of IKEA’s YouTube channel.
Juul Kruse shared her thoughts about forgetting your memories.
Pauw Vos told us all about the similarities between gathering rocks and gathering poems.
Lola van Scharrenburg combined photo and poetry in such a way that both were lifted to new heights.
Jasmijn Ooms made an ode to something we all have in common.
Isolde van Gog had a two-part story about constellations and the shaping of human lives.


Pauw Vos

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