About Us

 

     The idea for 11 Mag Berlin was conceived by a Canadian flight instructor and a Florida tool rental shop manager on a boule piste in Berlin. It happened during the corona crisis in the summer of 2020 when both parties, taking semi-self-imposed sabbaticals from their respective métiers, began pondering the imponderable question, "What the hell am I going to do with my life?"

 

     Prior to the question, the Florida tool rental shop manager had been spending most of his days writing poetry, meditating in various graveyards and getting drunk on Western Gold, an ersatz Kentucky bourbon that's only Western if you're a German living east of the Atlantic. The Canadian flight instructor, on the other hand, had been drinking George Washington, an ersatz grain whiskey that's probably exactly the same as Western Gold, only labeled differently for a different grocery store. Whatever the case, the cheap liquor and the down corona time and the boule piste inspired in the two parties a discussion about some joint venture they could take up to help assuage their existential despair.

 

     First, there was talk of shooting an art or documentary film of some sort. This was natural because the Canadian flight instructor had in a past life been a film director, and the two had met as extras, or Komparsen, on the set of a German film called Gundermann. They started kicking around some ideas, most of them involving art, music, booze, bars and poetry readings. This then evolved into a discussion about literature, and the sad state of affairs in the literary world where everything's become so gravely serious and righteous and politically-charged that is seems almost as though laughter and mirth have been banned. 

 

     "We need to provide a remedy to that," said the Florida tool rental shop manager to the Canadian flight instructor. "How 'bout we start a literary mag?"

 

     "Sure. What should we call it?"

 

     Komparse?

 

     Der Aussteiger?

 

     LOKI?

 

     Feuerzeug?

 

     PAN?

 

     "How 'bout 11 Mag Berlin?"

 

     "11 Mag Berlin it is..."

 

"11 is the number of the renewal of the decade, and so, of restoration. Decoded thus, the number implies a mythic theme of the conjoined Tree of Eden and tree of Calvary, Fall-Redemption, Death-Resurrection, Wake of the Dead and Wake of the Awakening, which is the leading theme of the nightmare Finnegans Wake." -- Joseph Campbell