Real Life is on winter break. We’ve put together eight SPECIAL ISSUES for your consideration. We’ll publish one a day, each selected by an editor and based on a thematic topic. Click the image below for a pdf. And please enjoy these mid-season reruns until we return to our usual scheduled program.
Some stretch of primordial time passed—I imagine, I can’t look it up right now—during which blood was only shed, spilled or stolen, before it was ever drawn or given. Blood is magnetic wealth; it is the stuff of lifelong pacts and biohazards. The life of a creature is in the blood, and we are bloody symbolic creatures. In the year of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the century of new bodily “transgressive intimacies,” a British physician finally curbed one female death by childbirth with a blood transfusion; he was born the same year as the American painter who, having received news of his wife’s postpartum heart attack too late to see her burial, created a pulsing code and the first long-distance telegraph. Some of us feel we bleed into our work; some moreso let through suckling devices, turning daily blood to vital data; others wonder whether the blood on our fingertips is all our own; and some of us keep blood ties forever, with people we call our lifeblood long after space and time have failed to help us find them again. —Soraya King, Editor