About Footnotes

Footnotes (no longer from the void, they’re just regular footnotes now) is a collection of meditations and dispatches from Kuala Lumpur: pseudo-literary, rambling and (trying to be less) irregular.

An angel dressed in red leads a figure in blue, head haloed by sun rays, towards an open, light-filled doorway, where two other white figures are already passing through. To the right, two light-blessed monks converse animatedly as they also journey towards the light.
Fra Angelico’s ‘Entry of the Blessed into Paradise’, The Last Judgment (1431).

If you wanted more background:

Back in 2018, this newsletter used to live on a Tinyletter. At the time, I missed the days of writing in my terrible Blogger which I found out no longer exists, and I like to pretend that my LiveJournal also vanished into the internet. Partly, these emails work like a fragmentary archive — if chunks of it live in other people’s inboxes, then the art can never really go away. Nothing disappears anymore.

I started “Footnotes” as a system for building my own audience of readers, for work that doesn’t seem to quite fit anywhere. You can still read the TinyLetter archive here, and I’ll recommend some choice favourites:

I am also trying to decouple my life from social media. My brain — already an anxiety-riddled hole — just doesn’t cope well with the vast, multi-circle-spanning worlds of Instagram and Facebook. I’m still sort-of on Twitter (“X”), but I’m old enough to remember what it was like to watch people fall into para-social pile-ons, what it was like to *be a part* of those pile-ons. I am familiar with the pervasive non-judgement judgement particular to the Meta-hole panopticon, and it’s already shrivelled my world into a collection of fleeting Stories and posts.

tl;dr, I’m very dysregulated and I’m getting off this ride.

I still have a lot to say, but I don’t think I can do that on social media anymore. So, here I am.

When can I expect an email?

What a loaded question!

At the moment, my brain is going through intense social media withdrawals — I keep opening new tabs to look at Facebook and Instagram, only to be reminded I’ve deactivated both accounts ha ha ha ha! Going cold turkey from the constant dopamine hits is deeply unpleasant, but my body will eventually reorganise itself.

The basic structure I’ve planned out is: a Five Things essay out every Monday; and a long-er piece every fortnight, sent out on a Friday. Hopefully I’ll stick to this (my track record has Not been good), but we’ll see.

In any case, subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website. Also, if you have friends you think might enjoy it, consider forwarding the piece to them via email.

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Footnotes is a collection of meditations and dispatches from Kuala Lumpur.


A writer from Kuala Lumpur.