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If we take this at face value Letters To Vienna is a hand-bound little zine of photocopied pages from Benjamin Goetsch’s diary written between April and June 1998.

At the time the diary entries were written, Goetsch appears to be a teenager. The diary opens with him and Vienna already long-distance dating and the entries continue on an irregular every-few-days schedule. Each entry is addressed to Vienna and we follow him as he pines for her across a distance from Connecticut to Vermont.

I want to read this as a litzine, not a perzine, and maybe part of the reason is out of self-preservation. I have never cared for anyone as much as Goetsch cares for Vienna. Of that I can be sure. As entry after entry unfolds you can taste his heartache and longing for her. I hope this is fiction because I don’t know if I could bear to know that people actually do feel as strongly for other people as Goetsch does for Vienna. That would create a whirlpool of introspection that would threaten to drown me.

If this is a litzine, then the author’s done a fantastic job. The entries are written with an urgent scrawl, the double-sided pages are photocopied lovingly with sketches of dancers and ballerinas interspersed, and the threaded binding is adorable. I really hope this is a litzine. (Harley R. Pageot)

Litzine/Perzine, Benjamin Goetsch, unkindnesspress.ca

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