La.Lit. A literary magazine exists to celebrate the beauty of writing, and it won’t be overstepping to note how lightly the word trips down from the palate in the manner of Nabokov’s most earthly, ethereal creation. There were a number of reasons why we settled on La.Lit, all related to notions of the good and the great in writing. ‘Lalit’ signifies Beauty in Sanskrit, and ‘La Lit’ comes close as a signifier for literature in the Romance languages. La.Lit also stands for language and literature, if you will. Stir in the midwifery of the beauteous city of Lalitpur, and we have before us a heady alliteration.
This would only amount to a sort of Lila if we were not serious about bringing about a real-life alliteration of art, life, and beauty. When we decided to birth our collective desire for a literary magazine in Nepal, it was to showcase literature that would transcend the plastic materialism and packaged nostalgia of the glossies. With La.Lit, we seek to draw out poetry, fiction, long-form journalism and the visual arts from Nepal and beyond so as to nurture our body politic, starved of late of the favours of the Muses. Working in English, Nepali, and as many other languages as we can reach, we mandate ourselves to give form to our indigenous literature. Our readers will be treated to a digital portal of literature, and an annual edition in print.
La.Lit is a literary magazine from Nepal, and this issue we have contributions from established writers such as Khagendra Sangraula as well as young talents like Smriti Ravindran, mining the seams of the interesting times we live in. But we have cast our net wide, and our first edition features award-winning writers from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh as well as Poland, the UK and the US.
But words are not the only means to a story. There is a growing interest in photojournalism in Nepal, and La.lit will continue to feature the best of talent in the visual arts with the understanding that sometimes, a picture may be worth well more than the proverbial 1000.
I would like to personally thank the editors who have given so freely of their time over the past year, and all those who had sufficient faith in us to help us get on with it. La.Lit will expand on the Kathmandu Literary Jatra’s mission to bring contemporary achievements in world literature to Nepal and equally, take Nepali literature to the world.
Most of all, however, La.Lit seeks to stave off Ennui, that ‘monstre délicat’ that so horrified Baudelaire, that which through instant gratifications satiates us unduly, barring us from the quick of living and the slow pleasures of the past. So, dear hypocrite Reader, let us begin.