Monday, December 7, 2009

My New Favorite Magazine : Lapham's Quarterly

To the pain in the womb. O womb, womb, womb, womb. Boxy womb, red womb, white womb, fleshy womb, bloody womb, large womb, bloated womb--demonic womb.
--From a prayer for curing hysteria, C. 950 , Europe. Lapham’s Quarterly Medicine Issue, p. 175
At a recent open studio event, I met an editor for a magazine I had never heard of: Lapham's Quarterly. Interestingly, the current issue's theme was medicine, and the editor promised to send me a copy to check out. What I received has fast become my new favorite magazine.

A kind of Cabinet Magazine for the history set, this digest-sized, beautifully illustrated tome is a delightful, intriguing and thought-provoking read. Each issue utilizes a sort of patchwork, magpie approach to the theme; contents include historical pieces (see epigraph above), artworks, quotations, and contemporary writings that approach the topic obliquely and with a restrained, urbane wit, resulting in an impressionistic, playful, suggestive portrait of the topic. Former issues of the magazine--described by founder Lewis H. Lapham (formerly of Harper’s Magazine) as a magazine for “people who wished they had paid more attention in school” (1)--have tackled themes such as Eros, Crimes and Punishment, and Book of Nature; the next issue will be Religion.

The Medicine Issue will be on the newsstand until December 15th. I highly recommend you pick up a copy before it disappears. Truly not to be missed!

You can find out more about the Lapham's Quarterly Medicine Issue--and read some of the pieces, including Lewis Lapham's brilliant introduction--by clicking here. You can find out more about the magazine in general by clicking here. Visit the magazine's blog by clicking here. Read more about the magazine in this recent New York Times story, from which the quotation above is drawn.

Image: From the revelatory Wellcome Images. Credit: Position of the right hip. Figure showing child being turned in the womb. Engraving; From: Nouvelles demonstrations d'accouchemens, By: Jacques Pierre Maygrier; Published: BechetParis 1822; Credit: Wellcome Library, London

1 comment:

Castle in the Air said...

I wholeheartedly agree! A fantastic read!!