Issue 1: July – Sept. 2023


The souls of the dead hungered for a completion of their purgatory and for the truth. I, in the Pension La Roca, sent my intensest thoughts toward them with all the warmth I had. And I said to myself that unless you conceive Death to be a violent guerrilla and kidnapper who snatches those you love, and if you are not cowardly and cannot submit to such terrorism as civilized people now do in every department of life, you must pursue and inquire and explore every possibility and seek everywhere and try everything. Real questions to the dead have to be imbued with true feeling. By themselves abstractions will not travel. They must pass through the heart to be transmitted. The time to ask the dead something is in the last instant of consciousness before sleeping. As for the dead they reach us most easily just as we awaken. These are successive instants in the time-keeping of the soul, the eight intervening clock hours in bed being only biological. The one occult peculiarity that I couldn’t get used to was that the questions we asked originated not with us but with the dead to whom they were addressed. When the dead answered it was really your own soul speaking. Such a mirror-image reversal was difficult to grasp. I spent a long time pondering that.


— SAUL BELLOW, Humboldt’s Gift

Q of the Q is a profound piece of writing that resonates with the general drift of an issue of TWR.

Cover image: A pair of sculpted ducks in the British Museum, Paul Hudson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.