Infiltration

When I was in university I took this course dedicated to the  writing of the early explorers of Canada. It was a great course,  and one of the things I learned from it is the difficulty of  chronicling unfamiliar terrain. For one thing, the writing has  to be precise, clear and reduced to its essentials. Maps, charts,  and illustrations, all made at the heat of the moment, become  crucial later on, when the reader is trying to form a mental  picture of a place they have never been. And yet, exploration  writing, the kind of writing that appears in Infiltration, must  also have a certain panache, it must be infused with a sense of  its own importance, so that the technical descriptions and  simple reports create a reserve that, by its very nature, brings  the reader into an exegesis of the unknown. In its own modest  way, this zine “about going places you’re not supposed to go”  encompasses the essential tenets of great exploration writing:  It tells us about places we will never go, and, in the telling,  explores the myth of our own possibility by allowing us to  glory in the communal courage of exploration that belies yet  informs our own cowardice. So, while I would never wander  through the bowels of Toronto’s prestigious Royal York hotel,  chronicling everything from the sub-basement to the lavish  Upper Canada Room to the attic and roof (don’t forget the  secret stairs on level 24) I certainly enjoy and commend my  intrepid peer for doing so. His penetration of the Chum/  CityTV/MuchMusic building was equally impressive and  commendable – less interesting only because he had a single  night to explore, as opposed to the months he must have spent  chronicling every nook of one of Toronto’s grandest, posh  hotels. Okay, you really have to get this zine. It is, quite simply, an impressive text, a classic of new Canadian exploration  writing, and an awesome reflection of the banality of our urban environment. As a tourist of “non-designated areas”, our  explorer is daring. But as the reserved writer who can advise  us of the free bar on floor 12 of the Royal York and then shyly  admit that he’s never had the courage to sample from it, our  man is masterful.

zine  #1, 24 pages  main creator: Ninjalicious  $1  PO Box 66069, Town Centre PO,  Pickering ON, L1V 6P7  

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