Letter from
the Editor

 

Carta del
Editor

  • Cover image is a fragment ofCIUDAD #6. © 2012 JOHNNY TAYLOR
    48in x 48in, acrylic, screen print, spray paint & marker on canvas.

During the spring of 1950, a 29 year-old Ray Bradbury, sporting a bow tie but then without his characteristic glasses, ventured into the basement of the UCLA library, guided by the sharp and continuous taps of miniature hammers. Bradbury passed through a half-opened door, surveyed the room from where the continuous rattling was escaping, and took his place in front of an old typewriter. Before inserting the paper between the platen and the ribbon, he opened a bag of change from the bank and removed a dime to feed the black metal animal. He repeated the act every half hour while eight panting young men furiously drummed on their keys around him. After nine days of working against the clock and having spent nine dollars and eighty cents to rent the voracious Underwood, Bradbury had composed the twenty-five thousand words of The Fireman. He returned to the same basement in the summer of 1953 to polish that first draft, doubling its size and thus completing the work that he had since renamed Fahrenheit 451. Just a few months later, the novel would be serialized in Playboy.

In 2004, the first edition of Párrafo appeared as a nod to Bradbury’s novel, and as the realization of an idea planted by a group of UCLA students to publish short texts in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Today, after a period of silence, we reembark on this journey, devoting our sixth issue to the city of Los Angeles. Thus we appropriate a place that has inspired not only authors such as Brecht, Chandler, Ellis, or Bukowski, but also the Peruvian Xavier Abril, the Brazilian Vinícius de Moraes, the Catalan Pere Gimferrer, or the Colombian Andrés Caicedo, in addition to performances and art by the Chicano collective ASCO, among many others. We now present our own version of the city, diverse, multilingual, and visually striking, taking shelter in the judgment of Jack Kerouac ("LA is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities") and in John Fante’s prayer ("Los Angeles, give me some of you! Los Angeles come to me the way I came to you, my feet over your streets, you pretty town I loved you so much, you sad flower in the sand, you pretty town").

Last but not least, I would like to acknowledge that this joint effort would have been fruitless without the unconditional support of Ana Carulla, the contributions of Román Luján, and the collaboration and patience of Elizabeth Warren, Zeke Trautenberg, and Nivardo Valenzuela. I would also like to thank the UCLA GSA Publications Office (enthusiastically represented by Stacey Meeker) and the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese for their financial support. To all of them, and to the members of our Editorial Board, I offer my gratitude.

Rafa Ramírez