Ryan Bradford's Reviews > Hobart #13: Luck

Hobart #13 by Aaron Burch
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

it was amazing

Hobart is a midwestern literary journal that boasts some of the more-visceral writing I’ve seen (not to mention a solid design) Since this issue is their 13th, all the stories have to do with luck (or lack thereof). During the course of reading it, I decided to take note of all the lucky stuff that happened in my life.

Two things: Besides the whimsical indulgence of romanticizing coincidence, I’m not sure if I believe in luck. I don’t think there are exterior forces that congregate around some people and leave others alone.

Also, I’m not a fast reader. So there I had a lot more opportunities to have “lucky” experiences than someone who can read faster. I don’t know if this in itself is luck.

Lucky thing 1: I consider my acquisition of Hobart 13 as somewhat lucky: a link posted by Amelia Gray from the Hobart website that said they were doing a mass send-out, and if anyone wanted review copies, just paypal them the postage.

If it hadn’t been for Gray’s emoticon’d link share, or the fact that I had been on Facebook right then, I would not have known about the insane Hobart giveaway.

Jac Jamc begins Hobart 13 with a series of earnest essays about how she defines luck. They’re all very good, but there’s a bit that really stuck with me. Pretty much defined what I thought of luck:

As soon as I started thinking about luck, I started noticing stories about luck and theories about luck and thoughts on luck everywhere I looked.

I don’t think that’s luck. I think it’s preoccupation and awareness

Lucky thing 2: had two pretty decent job interviews. None of them were for jobs I was particularly excited about, but I consider myself a pretty terrible interviewee. Any opportunity to leave an interview without picking apart each line you said with disdain is a victory. Even if you didn’t get the job.

I’d consider two interviews in a week “lucky”, especially for writing positions.

Rolf Potts has a long essay in which he uses David Shield’s Reality Hunger, a text of remixed texts, as a springboard to remix his own account of being drugged and mugged in Turkey. I didn’t like it at first because I thought it was somewhat condescending to utilize someone’s method of delivery to show its flaws. Like oh… how meta of you. But when it became clear that he was using it to deconstruct his own narrative and highlight our basic love of story (I think), then I really liked it. Plus, there’s really good page formatting here.

Lucky thing 3: My mailman memoirs were printed on the cover of the SD Reader. Not really lucky because I had received payment and knew they were going to print it, but the day that it came out, I was at a birthday dinner for a local journalist and met a lot of other freelance contacts who were impressed with my work.

Lucky thing 4: won Sleigh Bell tickets from a music blog.

My absolute favorite piece was Tod Goldberg’s When They Let Them Bleed” which was about his love lightweight boxing champion, Duk Koo Kim, and the death that befell Kim in the ring. He relates that to his own adolescent body issues and the self-mutilation he endured. Really powerful stuff without falling into melodrama.
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