"Stories" zine is a print and online independent literary zine with emphasis on psychoanalysis as a framework to understand or share different stories and concepts.
In his book "On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored," psychoanalyst Adam Philips mentions: "any psychoanalytic theory that is of interest only to members of the profession is unlikely to be worth reading" and that "psychoanalysis, as a form of a conversation - is worth having only if it makes our lives more interesting, or funnier, or sadder, or more tormented, or whatever it is about ourselves that we value and want to promote; and especially if it helps us find new things about ourselves that we didn't know we could value. New virtues are surprisingly rare." He argues that psychoanalysis is simply "a story - and a way of telling stories - that makes some people feel better." Psychoanalyst and author Stephen Grosz describes psychoanalysis as a process in which "a patient tells and re-tells a story about his or her life, and works with a psychoanalyst to change that story where it has become a trap." Grosz claims that being able to articulate our stories is crucial for our mental health. He believes that "when we cannot find a way to tell our story, our story tells us."
Oliver Sacks, a British neurologist, writes: "To be ourselves we must have ourselves — possess, if need be re-possess, our life-stories. We must “recollect” ourselves, recollect the inner drama, the narrative, of ourselves. A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his self."
At the very same time, it is essential to also keep in mind that even though telling stories and telling our own story, in particular, is extremely important, we should still not reduce ourselves to just a story either.
Philosophy, arts, literature, or psychoanalysis - any discipline about humans and the world around us, should not be locked only, exclusively within academia or clinical practice. Instead, they should be integrated into our lives. These are the disciplines about people, so they should be accessible and made widely helpful - for people.
Kate Bowler's words (writer and professor at Duke University) from The Washington Post article ideally describe what we aim to change and what moves and inspires us. She writes:
"Our society finds it especially difficult to talk about anything chronic — meaning, any kind of pain, emotional or physical, that abides and lives with us constantly. The sustaining myth of the American Dream rests on a hearty can-do spirit, but not all problems can be overcome. So often, we are defined by the things we live with rather than the things we conquer. Any persistent suffering requires being afraid — but we hang our fears in the balance of our great loves and act, each day, as though love will outweigh them all. Life is chronic. Fear will always be present. I can only make those brave, soft choices to find my way forward when there is no way back."
We aim to become a space filled with all kinds of stories and attempts to answer complicated questions. We are dedicated to becoming a space where talking about pain and suffering, the complexity, struggles, hardships, and ambivalence of life is explored in a liberating, non-judgmental, raw, and honest way.
We are devoted to highlighting the voices of writers and artists who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, working-class, women, neurodiverse, or underrepresented in any way. We especially welcome emerging writers and artists as submitters.
At the same time, we will, of course, contact professionals in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, medicine, sociology, politics, etc., and conduct interviews with them, ask them to write for us, and discuss different issues. Our priority is to create very reliable content by professionals that anyone can access for free (online version), self-reflect, and hopefully learn or realize something helpful and new.
We want to highlight artists, ideas, research, institutions, books, publishers, events, writers - anything or anyone who is doing something that we think could be helpful for people in their real day-to-day lives and in crises (especially connected to psychoanalysis) - which will maybe help people become more aware, be more informed, become calmer, feel less lonely, etc.
In case you want to help us pursue this cause, you can donate here or buy our merch.