Our seventh issue opens with Jeremy Dyer’s ominous image of a burning mountainside, followed by ‘Fire on the Mountain’: an editorial essay that considers what it means to question civilisation, to speak up for the intuitive, for the non-rational, and for a renewed relationship with the land beneath our feet - and specifically, what it means to do so in a time when the Enlightenment project of liberalism, democracy and reason is under attack from alarming forces in many western countries. This is an invitation to address the failing of the official stories that is feeding the politics of hatred: to draw out the shadow-stuff of anger, fear, exclusion and severance, drop by drop, to be alchemised by the clear light of honesty and understanding.
Confronting the shadow is never easy – it can lead you to uncomfortable places and introduce you to ill-mannered travelling companions. Within the pages of this book, a company of creatures gather around a campfire. As you join them, you may find yourself conversing with fierce-toothed wolves or primeval lizards; may be confronted with the false coin of travelling tricksters or the hairy stink of ancient machismo; may be served up the oil-stained shrimp of an eroding community, or the raw catch of a broken relationship; you may find yourself crawling down a New York sidewalk, or lying, wire-cutters in hand, beneath the belly of an industrial machine. You may hear a low growl from the darkness at your back.
But look deep enough into these shadows and you may stumble across the unexpected: the tenderness of connection that comes from facing death squarely; a woman entering the shadows of a cave, transfigured into light; the sudden life of a circling swift. And behind the conflicts and chaos of our civilisation’s early struggles lie the traces of an older wisdom: voices of the indigenous, the neanderthal, the animal whisper to us across the years – or speak directly to us here and now, if only we have the wit to listen.
Contributors to Dark Mountain: Issue 7 include Josh Gaines, Alice Adams, Rob Percival, Stanley Donwood, Nate Bacon, Sue Coe, Bridget McKenzie, Robert Wrigley, Chris Jordan and Rebecca Clark, Martin Shaw, Derek Rasmussen, Elizabeth Rush, Xiaolu Guo, Robert Leaver, Charles Foster, Ben Kostival, Stephanie Martin, Storming Sky and Jamie Mcphie, Sarah Thomas, Em Strang, Robert Wrigley, Emily Laurens, Emma Brooker, Walter Lewis, Jason Benton, Ron Hagg, Steve Matthews, Jean Atkin, Persephone Pearl, Jeri Reilly, John Michael Greer, Zanny Mellor, Abi Andrews, Stuart Turner, Padraig Rooney, C.M. Chapman, Kim Goldberg, Daniel Nakanishi-Chalwin, Nina Pick, Dougald Hine and Christopher Brewster, Joanna Lilley, Patricia Robertson, Cal Kinnear, Raquel Somatra, Patrik Qvist, Garrett Hupe, Mat Osmond, Jessica Penrose, Jeremy Dyer, Amy Brunvand and Eric Utne.
This issue’s cover is a screenprint from a linocut, made for us by Stanley Donwood and printed on a cast iron Albion press that was made in 1865.
The editors for this issue were Charlotte Du Cann, Nick Hunt, Em Strang and Steve Wheeler.
Dark Mountain: Issue 7 is a hardback book, 288 pages long, printed on FSC-certified paper.