A visitant is a visitor from another realm.
A visitant is a specter, a psychopomp, or a transitory creature, like a pilgrim or bird.
At Visitant, we are borrowing from this concept with the goal of nurturing new and experimental writing.
Visitants pop up throughout literature as ghosts, as fits of madness, as omens, and as strong and ineffable emotions: “The Raven,” made famous by Edgar Allen Poe was thought to also be a reminder of the narrator’s dead lover (“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—”); in Beloved, by Toni Morrison, a murdered child returns from the dead in adult form to live with her mother after Sethe escapes from slavery; in Gothic literature, a visitant might be a hallucination or a temporary madness that takes hold; at the start of Hamlet, the young prince encounters the ghost of his father, a visitant who demands revenge for his murder. The Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami takes his readers through the paces of psychological metaphysics with unreliable narrators often seeking lovers lost to time and other mishaps. His most famous novels, A Wild Sheep Chase and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle are in their most sublime and surreal essences, spiritual ghost stories set in Tokyo.
In nature, a visitant takes on a different meaning: a migratory bird that has come to a place temporarily; a cicada that rises from the soil every 17 years to tear off its shell and make new life.
The act of writing in the digital age can seem to be fleeting as well as an act of faith. No scientist can predict the exact equation for your moments of creativity; you sit, you pace, you stare, you breathe, you paint, you type, you scream, you repeat, again and again, until you have created some thing. Your mind breeds schools and civilizations if you can have the faith to put your fingers to their instruments. Even in solitude, one is never alone; our clattering, beeping, swishing, noisy machines keep us company. Here at Visitant, we have created a space where you and your temporary visitors—your stories, your words—might rest, grow stronger, and be shared.
Again and again.