Glory is bound up with First Things and the End of the Line: with radiance, the divine, and death. The eye and the ear. The sun, moon, and stars, whether celestial or down-to-earth.
To be talked about.
To be overwhelmed.
To be touched by the hand of God, or possessed by infernal ambitions.
To aspire to greatness.
To go too far.
To live forever, or to go out with a blaze.
Ablaze with glory.
To hold tight to past triumphs — real and imagined.
To break free of the yoke; to walk in the light; to think or speak, tell the truth, or even lie in one’s own language.
In this issue of Bidoun Issandr El Amrani charts the life and death and afterlife of Souffles, an avant-garde journal of 1960s Morocco, in which a generation of North African intellectuals found and then lost a place they could call home. Z. Pamela Karimi and Michael C. Vazquez consider the contested glories of Persian Empire and Islamic Republic in the history of a single building in downtown Tehran. Sophia Al- Maria describes the phantasmagoric spectacle of the women’s tent at a Qatari wedding feast, while Gary Dauphin ponders the occult chemistry of listening to hip hop and house music as a teenager on the outskirts of New York in the 1980s.
In the music section, Sukhdev Sandhu revisits the legacy of Mingering Mike — simply the most important soul superstar you’ve never ever heard — while Elias Muhanna writes of Julia Boutros, sometime-muse of Hassan Nasrallah. In the film section, Bruce Hainley converses with cult film auteur William E. Jones about his hypnotic filmmaking, the documentary impulse, and the lessons of 1970s pornography.
In the arts, Tom Morton profiles Saâdane Afif, Dominic Eichler sits down with Shahryar Nashat’s latest project, and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie casts an eye to Ziad Antar’s current video in progress. And we have the usual installment of columns on travel, museums, curatorial practice, exhibition reviews, and previews.
And finally, this issue boasts two new departments. Ephemera captures all manner of pettifoggery, whether ridiculous or sublime, while the Glossary provides a wealth of tall tales and minutia — the stuff of legend.
‘Til next time.