The question whether the world needs another journal of art, culture, literature and philosophy, etc. added to what it already has more multitudinously than we can devote our whole life to the reading of does not hold us back from launching our long-dreamed-of journal, because the answer, of course, is an emphatic ‘YES’. All of us read the journals and magazines of our own trades, and many of us contribute to a few or several of them, but that’s clearly not all, because we know that the world has not ended—perhaps not even history—and our élan vital incessantly continues to drive us, forcing us to live creatively where we are, allowing life’s mostly-held-back vital property of growing/developing rhyzomatically in as yet unthinkable directions and proportions to commit itself to being and becoming. This does not necessarily mean that every act of living following every other act of living is new or rhyzomatic, and that it is a newer phase in the evolution of a species (e.g. poetry, philosophy, art, culture, etc.). Some repeat to be, some revert to some earlier stage(s) on their evolutionary scale, while some even remain passive, with or without a sign of life, though may be alive.
An emergant does not necessarily replace the ones which have already been there, or make them redundant: Cottage Reader does not necessarily mean to be a rhyzomatic growth (at least as of now, if there will be a time it would be so). It is just an expression of life, something life is unable not to be/show, and it is definitely customizing the modalities and the spaces of life. It is a field of living in one or more ways, to appreciate what we are capable of, to understand and try to push our boundaries back as far as could be within permitted limits, to celebrate being and becoming. Despite seven billion humans living all over the globe at the moment (besides those innumerable people already dead since the advent of man on the earth), and despite population control measures based on social, economic and political reasons, our biological and spiritual selves are getting conceived and born, and we are reproducing. Precedence and the volume of the precedents do not render posteriority redundant, and cannot determine or compromise the modalities (including density) of the posterity absolutely. This unstoppable flow of life is expressed in the re/arrangements and re/configurations of ideas, concepts and thoughts, and the births of new ideas, concepts and thoughts, and their further mutations, and births of new ideas, concepts and thoughts, ad infinitum.
While Cottage Reader is, thus, a function of élan vital in action, something no other individual of its kind can replace, like no identical twins are interchangeable or interreplaceable, it is just an entity in the whole scheme, which is subject to the law of selection which can be quite arbitrary. Evolution/history selects the best individuals in each species/gener, and even sometimes effaces a species as a whole from the surface of the plane(s) of life concerned, e.g. the extinction of dinosaurs and mammoths, the disappearance of cultures, languages, nations, etc.; however, the principle of selection allows weak individuals to occupy the space of life only for them to die out or attain fitness in due course of time. This is why we have given Cottage Reader a chance to let it go and see if it can live and survive (for as long as it can), because life is non-existent without giving it an opportunity to live, and nature does not eliminate a species without testing if it can survive.
Now, we have launched the journal—here it is. I, on behalf of the Cottage Reader staff, would love to have the pleasure of acknowledging our contributors, to whom the credit of having successfully given our dream a chance of life really goes—our respected, generous patroness Jamie Dades (whose kind moral support and material help gave us, especially me, a great morale boost), the amiable Adityamurti Saraswati, my poet friend Rajesh Mishra, Prof. Dr. Th. Ratankumar, Rajendrachinglanngamba, Sreemanti Sengupta, Tushar Madhav, Deepu Yengkhom, and my friend and colleague Manohar Kumar.
We personally approached most of the authors featured in this issue, and did not entertain more than a couple of independent submissions due to several factors. We were also unable to reply to many important queries before the release of the issue. We will very soon make the necessary submission guidelines and other relevant information on our blog.
While the major focus of Cottage Reader lies on non-fictional writings and the critical studies of current writings in/on art, culture, philosophy and literature, this issue features only creative pieces, except for three articles (Chinglanngamba’s Maintaining Healthy Relations, Dr. Th. Ratankumar Singh’s Myths in Manipuri Literature, and Yengkhom Deepu Singh’s Child Soldier). While we are proud to present what we have featured, the absence of critical and theoretical pieces has been deeply dissatisfying. This as yet empty space will define Cottage Reader when it has been filled in time.