Whenever you bring up the weather as a subject, someone will offer up a quote, usually by Mark Twain. There is the famous and apocryphal “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” There are also quotes from Proust: “A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.” Oscar Wilde: “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” There’s a reason that so many writers talk about the weather: it’s always been a challenge for the literary world how to make it interesting, how to make it relevant, how to make part of the story. Considering the current state of politics and the climate, that challenge happens to be pretty urgent at the moment. This issue of the LARB Quarterly Journal will deal with climate the facts around it as well as the ways in which it is changing how we understand our world and how we write about it. This issue will also be about redefining the boring, the banal and the everyday. How do our lives change when a boring subject of conversation becomes something major? Finally, how will fiction change regarding the weather? How will literature adapt and mold itself around the importance of this new subject? Amitav Ghosh famously called for a new type of fiction, better suited to deal with this problem, and this issue will publish just that.
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