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The Elephants

My Salvation Lateral

Emily Martin

Publishes June 11, 2024

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Emily Martin is a writer and teacher from Brooklyn. She is most recently the author of My Salvation Lateral (The Elephants, 2024), Marking a Salt Ridge (Erotoplasty Editions, 2023), and the chapbook Dependence, the Joistrix / How you are made (Hiding Press, 2023). More of her work can be found at myemilymartin.com

From the author:

"While working on this book, I was thinking about two strands of dependence, which became intertwined and began to inform each other. The first had to do with dependence in language: how the meaning of a word isn’t contained within the word itself, but is created in relation to other words, and changes through time in relation to historical context. And, how the unit of an ‘utterance’ isn’t the utterance itself, but includes the response to the utterance, the capacity of the utterance to respond and be responded to.

"The second had to do with social and interpersonal dependence. I’ve always valued my independence, and I’ve always thought of myself as someone with the inner reserves to get through difficult situations on my own. However, in the past several years I have seen and experienced how much people need each other to survive, both materially and in terms of understanding ourselves and finding meaning in the world.

"Finally, I was also trying to think about the violence of retrospection in the process of writing: the idea that meaning or understanding can only be achieved later, afterwards. I believe that this has become both a more immediate and a more useless question in the months since finishing work on this book."