Erect Magazine

Minor Press

Erect Magazine is an uncanny, eye-catching and stimulating collaborative publication that comes out, well, whenever the contributors get the material together. It features some 100 unnumbered pages of edgy graphic design and art, underground photography, interviews, reviews and essays on a variety of subculture topics. Some of the text is in English.

Erect’s achievement is the result of a motley cast of interesting contributors, most of whom are 30-something artists, designers, photographers and writers…as well as prolific porn star Otsuka Saki. All of them (including Otsuka) are uniquely talented and established in their fields. The result of their efforts is a professional magazine that still retains the gritty pleasures of amateur ‘zines.

Erect is slightly less than B5 size (Koe’s size), with a glued-in spine and high-quality matte paper. It’s full color, though the colors are attractively muted, and sells for a reasonable ¥1500. They’ve got a good website, too:

Erect Magazineは、印象的で鋭い感覚が刺激的なコラボ雑誌であり、寄稿者たちが各々原稿を持ち寄ったときに出版される。エッジの効いたグラフィック・デザインとアート、アンダーグラウンドの写真、インタビュー記事、様々なサブカルチャーの話題についてのレビューやエッセーが、ページ番号の打たれていない100ページほどの冊子に特集されている。英語で書かれている記事もある。



Tomas Transtromer

Borderless Reading

When Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer recently won the Nobel Prize for Literature, beating out other front-runners Murakami Haruki, Syrian poet Adonis and even Bob Dylan, his readers were probably unsurprised. He’s been considered Scandinavia’s best poet for years, though his appeal transcends the region; his work has been translated into over 60 languages, including Japanese.

Although Tranströmer’s poems are rich in symbolism and haunting imagery, they generally avoid being obscure. His observations are typically of nature and every-day life, but with an eye for the deeper meanings and mysteries that dwell therein. Some of his poems are written in sections of key images and seem to have a haiku-like sensibility. Tranströmer has in fact written a collection of haiku, though his poetry as a whole seems to have emerged from 20th century European surrealist and expressionist traditions.



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