Reflections on the Early Days of Osiris

The earliest manifesto published in Osiris stated that Osiris would publish work that had an “organic” source. This simply meant that art in the broadest sense of the word should be free to explore those spiritual, psychological, emotional, and intellectual aspects of people’s lives that were not connected to nations or social groupings. It is clear to me now that these thoughts were related to my own education in philosophy and theology and also to the intense debate on the relationship between various fields of intellectual inquiry, namely the sciences and the arts.

Osiris has always published work by people who take risks, who expose language, explore the relationships between people and our planet, between people and their consciousness, memories, interactions with others (animal, human, plant, etc.), and who allow the formal elements of art and literature to express a point of view not necessarily represented by narrative discourse. We have not been part of the American fascination with narrative. Narrative elements, of course, are often present in all kinds of abstract discourse and art, but the art of story telling and persuasion has not been something Osiris nurtures.

Osiris can be read from cover to cover; there is a conscious ordering of elements. Each echoes or anticipates or concludes and intensifies the one it precedes or follows. Each issue is a whole, a gesture, a movement towards something beyond each contributor’s work.

Each issue is an act of faith, a Kierkegaardian leap of faith. Is there anything out there? How can we include the very young, those whose voices are so vital to the continued evolution of the community of artists and writers. Perfection is not a necessary element; the monotonous formulaic use of language that often characterizes academic writing is something we do not embrace.

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