Mood board

With Graywolf Lab, we hope to have a transparent and iterative,  relationship between writers and readers. We hope that what we publish here will instigate responses and new work from you; we‘re looking forward to reading and publishing some of those responses here. 
Later this year we will post submissions guidelines for Lab 1: Time. In the meantime, the best way to know what we will be looking for is to read, watch, listen to, and otherwise engage with what we’ve already posted on the site.
You might find further inspiration in some of the following links, texts, and quotes the Lab team and its collaborators shared with one another as we discussed our first theme:

•  “Story of Your Life,” by Ted Chiang

•  The Nap Ministry

•  “Time, Work Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism,” by E.P. Thompson

•  “On Leaving the Birthplace of Standard Time,” by Anne Elizabeth Moore

•  ORGAN2/ASLSP: the slowest and longest music piece ever, being performed for 639 years in Halberstadt, Germany 

•  Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

•  Carmen Maria Machado, “Dream House as Time Travel,” from In the Dream House:

One of the questions that has haunted you: Would knowing have made you dumber or smarter? If, one day, a milky portal had opened up in your bedroom and an older version of yourself had stepped out and told you what you know now, would you have listened? You like to think so, but you’d probably be lying; you didn’t listen to any of your smarter, wiser friends when they confessed they were worried about you, so why on earth would you listen to a version of yourself who wrecked her way out of a time orifice like a newborn? 

There is a theory about time travel called the Novikov self-consistency principle, wherein Novikov asserts that if time travel were possible, it would still be impossible to travel back in time and alter events that have already taken place. If present-day you could return to the past, you could certainly make observations that felt new—observations that had the benefit of real-time hindsight——but you’d be unable to, say, prevent your parents from meeting, since that, by definition, had already happened. To do so, Novikov says, would be as impossible as jumping through a brick wall. Time——the plot of it——is fixed. 

No, Novikov’s time traveler is the tragic dupe who realizes too late her trip to the past is what sealed the very fate she’d meant to prevent. Maybe you mistook your future voice shouting through the walls for something else: a heartbeat pacing and then rapid with want, a purr.

•  “I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.”——Mitch Hedberg

•  The Sabbath, by Abraham Joshua Heschel

•  Roger Reeves on the Between the Covers podcast with David Naimon:

I had a friend Nasser Mufti . . . he was writing about the difference between time in the colonies and time in the metropole and it made me start thinking about the way in which Black folks are always trying to interrupt, particularly, the time of colonization, the time of oppression. Like breaking the shovels. Laziness is actually a manifestation of this time breaking. I think about Sixo from Beloved . . . Morrison says he stopped speaking English because he sees no future in it and that Sixo will never obey time . . . I think about Ellison too. He talks about the beginning of the prologue of Invisible Man, the boxer [and] the yokel that . . . is able to knock him out because he disrupts the professional boxer’s sense of timing. I really think that that’s exactly where freedom is.Saving Time, by Jenny Odell

•  Uncommon Measure: A Journey Through Music, Performance, and the Science of Time, by Natalie Hodges

•  Sarah Manguso, from Ongoingness: The End of a Diary:

Living in a dream of the future is considered a character flaw. Living in the past, bathed in nostalgia, is also considered a character flaw. Living in the present moment is hailed as spiritually admirable, but truly ignoring the lessons of history or failing to plan for tomorrow are considered character flaws.

I still needed to record the present moment before I could enter the next one, but I wanted to know how to inhabit time in a way that wasn’t a character flaw.

•  Christian Marclay’s The Clock

•  “You cannot start without me”——Lydia Tár in Tár