Statorec inaugurated its Corona issue on April 16 with an essay by the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Andrea Scrima, titled Corona Report. Returning from Italy at the end of February 2020, just as the first lockdowns went into place, she reflects on the beginnings of the pandemic and on the Bergamo/Valencia soccer game in Milan, the biological bomb that led to the virus’s rapid spread throughout northern Italy. The hallucinatory prose in William Cody Maher’s Double Feature, published one week later, gropes its way through a labyrinth of internalized fear as human encounters are measured in terms of physical distance. In late April, Statorec editor David Dario Winner’s Daisy Assassin followed, which exposes the uncomfortable barriers of ethnicity, civic cooperation, and racism as experienced by someone going out for what is no longer an ordinary run. In Windows, Beverly Gologorsky’s quiet meditations probe the geography of pandemic isolation, while in Excerpts from Another Love Discourse, taken from a novel-in-progress, Edie Meidav weaves the virus’s sudden appearance into a larger narrative of love and loss. German jazz pianist Christian von der Goltz’s Halted Time listens to what’s behind the eerie silence of the virus’s global spread; Matthew Vollmer reflects on some of the more absurd aspects of lockdown in his kaleidoscopic Quarantine Diary; and Aimee Parkison’s dreamlike riff Masks and Guns captures America in all its dangerous absurdity in a cops and robbers game gone horribly wrong. In Corona Diary, former Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Joan Juliet Buck masterfully assesses the wear and tear on the psyche as we attempt to feel our way through this strange time, while Alice Stephens’s After Ginger reflects on anti-Asian and anti-Asian-American sentiment in times of Corona—and how some things don’t seem to change. While in Rooms and Clarinets, Clifford Thompson reflects on Covid, racism, Malcolm X, lockdown, and discovering a new room within to make one’s voice heard, Alexander Graeff’s Perpetuum Mobile describes long-distance love and patriarchy in times of pandemic and Scott Martingell’s Poems in Times of Corona expose the little hypocrisies spoon-fed to us by the powers that be. In Speaking of Which: Work in Progress, Nigerian-American poet Uche Nduka probes racism’s dark and violent undercurrent in American society, while Rebecca Chace’s Masks and Gloves looks at white privilege and “I can’t breathe” in times of Corona. Barbara Fischkin’s essay Autism in the Time of Covid details one man’s lockdown in disabled housing and Jon Roemer’s Uncertainty Ever After explores what it means to be a writer in precarious times.
As of early June 2020, we are close to completing this issue (in blog format), with approximately six more pieces in the pipeline. Authors to come: Eboné Bishop, Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Cheryl Sucher, Caille Millner, Joan Marcus, Mui Poopoksakul, and Roxana Robinson.
True to its mission, Statorec (“Statement of Record”) is motivated by the urge to record a variety of voices going through the same experience, but in very different ways—before the drive to return to normality becomes so strong that the time of lockdown, of charts and graphs and epidemiological factoids, will eventually seem like a bizarre dream. It’s this we find ourselves thinking about the most: how our reality shifts with each new outrage, and how little we understand about the way these events are changing us in the long term. As we undergo a kind of grinding down of reality in the process of adapting to unheard-of change, what motivates us to publish this issue is the feeling that there’s a fragile chance to be seized, if only we could sustain our attention and belief long enough to act on it.