Operating as a literary journal is not an easy enterprise and one based in Pakistan with an eye for global literature is harder still. Trying to place The Missing Slate on the geographical map of literary journals, with its cosmopolitan team and essays on largely global issues, has not gotten easier after two years.
This issue—with the twin themes of “identity” and “belonging”—is an introspective one for the magazine. Both ideologies have played a role in The Missing Slate’s development not just in the last quarter but for the six that have preceded it. This issue, our seventh, marks the two year anniversary of a project whose vision has shifted from being a representation of the country of its birth—Pakistan—to embracing literature wherever it surfaces in the world.
Perhaps what really matters is The Missing Slate’s willingness to arch its back and transform itself into another interpretation, or its reluctance to be the “quintessential” literary journal of the sub-continent. Our aim is to provide a platform that we perceive missing from the current scene – one that embraces writers, poets, journalists and artists irrespective of age, race or country.
The decision comes at an important time – derision and intolerance wink at us at every turn, from the surprising narrow-mindedness that seems to join regressive Pakistan to the seemingly progressive United States, to the lack of concern perpetually shown to dissenting (minority) voices.
Our contents reflect what this quarter has meant to us as a team of varying nationalities united under the common banner of literary and artistic equality, if such a thing can be perpetuated. If you like what you read, be prepared to see a print version of this magazine available for subscription in the not-so-distant future.
It seems the love/hate relationship with print continues and with any luck, will continue as we debate the need for print in an increasingly digital world. So while the debate rages on in the editorial room, welcome to the seventh issue.