By: Joshua Glenn
January 29, 2023

One in a series of posts featuring pages from Hermenaut, a DIY intellectual zine/journal published by HILOBROW’s Josh Glenn from 1992 through 2000-01.


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A few notes on the editor’s introduction to the first issue of Hermenaut

  • I see that I used an apostrophe for the word “zine.” Later, I’d eschew the apostrophe, which had come to seem somehow uncool. As I recall, I felt that a ’zine was an imitation magazine, whereas a zine was its own thing. Of course, I didn’t know at that time that ’zine was short for “fanzine.”
  • “Where the academy meets the concrete” — I guess I’m still doing this sort of thing, though I wouldn’t put it that way now.
  • “Hectic” was one of my favorite words, back then. I feel like I picked it up from F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Quoting Marx — and citing the year — this makes me cringe a little now. I also cringe at the exclamation point in the zine’s title. And “an hermeneneutic.”
  • The questions — about truth/reality/knowledge, the self, right action — are ones that we would indeed address in each of the zine’s issues.
  • Chiz was Eric Friedl (also known by his stage name, Eric Oblivian), a Memphis-based musician and zine publisher (WIPE OUT!). Chiz was a decisive influence on me when I started publishing my first zine, Luvboat Earth.
  • I think the definition of “hermenaut” remains pretty solid.
  • It’s confusing that I say “HERMENAUT! costs two dollars” when the front cover says “STILL ONLY $1.00!”
  • I guess I wanted to let others guest-edit issues of Hermenaut, at the time. That never ended up happening, though I certainly did rope a lot of folks into contributing to the zine.
  • The “Lourdes Ave.” address was a triple-decker owned by Mimi Lipson, who became a lifelong friend (and HILOBROW stalwart). It’s also where I met James Parker, another lifelong friend (and HILOBROW stalwart).

Pub. Date: Summer 1992
Theme: Smells Like Teen Reification
Hermenaut: Novalis
Pages: 26
Print Run: 50


MORE HERMENAUT on HILOBROW: HERMENAUTICA series | MEET THE HERMENAUTS | HERMENAUT’s last five issues | Snapshots | Letters to HERMENAUT | Dialectical Design | Josh Glenn on CAMP, KITSCH & CHEESE | Josh Glenn on DANIEL CLOWES: Q&A | Clarke Cooper on APOCALYPSE ALREADY | Lisa Carver on THE ART OF BEING UNCOMFORTABLE | Josh Glenn on FAKE AUTHENTICITY | Chris Fujiwara on ZOOMING THROUGH SPACE | John Marr on CAMPANILE FREE-FALL | Clarke Cooper on THE WILL TO SCORN | Dan Reines on PURE EVEL | Chris Fujiwara on ROADWORTHY JAZZ | Dan Reines on LETTER FROM LA | Mary E. Ladd & Julie Wiskirchen on ONWARD CHRISTIAN TOURISTS | Chris Fujiwara on SAVED BY BETRAYAL | Margaret Blonder on MEMORIES OF THE BIOSPHERE | Josh Glenn on HERMENAUT: PHILIP K. DICK | Ingrid Schorr on ROCKVILLE GIRL SPEAKS.