I Remember These Places When They Used to Exist

In this “one-shot zine,” Carolee Gilligan Wheeler and Jennie Hinchcliff take as their subject memory and the ways in which it is almost invariably rooted in an experience of place. Appropriately, maps appear on nearly every page, sometimes just for ambience, but most satisfyingly when they directly correspond to a location in the text. The first part conveys the reader to a flea market in Tokyo, where the narrator discovers an old pocket-sized map book. The title of the zine is taken from the reaction of the vendor as he examines the item. Told at a rather measured pace, the narrative slows to a stop in certain spots, obstructed by a redundant detail or bit of thematic exposition, but, this infrequent clutter aside, the account is evocative and has an appealing stillness. The latter half comprises a series of compact, dense recollections–for each one, the author identifies a place, time period, and sentiment associated with the memory described. In a deft flourish, she also locates the imprint of the memory in her body (e.g. the lower abdomen, the palms of the hands). This is accented by the inclusion of anatomic illustrations, which, alongside the ever-present maps, reveal unforced similarities, such as those between veins and city streets. Certain insights seem overemphasised for the benefit of the reader, but I Remember These Places When They Used to Exist avoids becoming overwrought. The authors ably capture not only memories, but the act of remembering. (Daniel Marrone)

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