NewPages Review of basalt vol 6, no 1

Volume 6 Number 1
Annual Review by Robyn Campbell

Although Basalt is based in and linked to the state of Oregon—taking its name from the igneous rock prevalent in the northwestern U.S.—a number of the pieces in this latest issue seem interested in crossing or expanding borders. While the front and back covers feature photographs of Oregon’s geography, the roughly thirty pages in between discuss the idea of place, both literally and figuratively.

In Harry Martinson’s “Global Nomads,” translated from the Swedish by Lars Nordström, the narrator takes readers through post World War I Europe. But more than a straightforward description of each city’s blemish and beauty, this piece is a musing on travel, on movement in general. While stating in the opening sentence that “No literature is more superficial than a good travelogue,” the narrator later explains the importance of travel itself, saying he is “convinced of the global social task of our feet when it comes to the healing of our psyche.”

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