Just like that, we have left the summer behind us. Another season come and gone. As a palimpsest, “we will clear the calendar, scrape off the previous year, write a new one over it, but never without the meaning of the last year, and those before.”[i] Whether it’s work, or school, or something in between, it is and remains a perennial process.
Biographer Maaike Meijer argues that in life people die several deaths, through growth in identity, or trauma, a parallaxis[ii] in personality or thinking. She states that physical birth and death aren’t that interesting. Death and rebirth in life, however, are especially interesting when analysing how people deal with change and new periods in life. How do people overcome those little deaths and rebirths? How do they face it?
These questions have haunted my dreams, a recurring oneiric hymn. Since 2013, I have anxiously and stressfully dedicated my time to my education while simultaneously terrified of failing and focussed on the finish line. Yet, as I embark on my last year – because it is and has to be my last year – I no longer feel frightened. Instead, I look forward to my next rebirth. With a master’s degree already to my name, I finally feel free to enjoy what university has to offer. Why shouldn’t I try to learn a new language and randomly take a course in Ancient Greek despite my dyslexia? Why shouldn’t I take a tutorial in life writing with only one other student even though I do not need the credits to graduate? I want to learn, not just within the box that I chose when I started my bachelor’s degree. I want to promenade down this path, so I hold on to this new strand of fascination. Who knows where it will go?
A year ago, two new members were added to the Paratext team, though they have yet to attend a meeting in person due to the pandemic. Leaving our squared eyes behind, we can embark on a fresh start for the team, a new period of growth. Usually, we introduce a new theme every two months. However, as you may have noticed, we did not announce a new theme for September and October. Instead, we asked for your opinion on Instagram, listing all the themes we have had over the years. We will reclaim our bi-monthly theme in November.
In the meantime, we hold an open call for papers. Normally, our themes function as guidelines, but now it is completely up to you. Your piece can reflect or relate to anything, from birthmark – our very first theme – to corporeality, from traditional topos to idiosyncrasies. Surprise us with your topic!
Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not hesitate to send something in, we survey all submissions. If you have an idea, but aren’t quite sure how to shape it, you can always reach out to us via email or on social media.
by Alyssa Vreeken