Yesterday I successfully defended my thesis: the thesis that has been under development in this very blog for the last three years. Two days before, I emailed Casciari (the editor of the magazine I’ve been studying) telling him how my project had come to an end and thanking him for his support. I also said I wished Orsai a long life and many new facets.
One of the questions I was asked during the defense was how I thought the story of Orsai would end. I said I didn’t know, but the forward movement of the the narrative suggested that it’s aim was to go on and keep on mutating the same way it has in the past three years but that its sustainability depended on maintaining a healthy community of readers following and supporting it.
As it turns out, while I was answering questions at the exam, Casciari announced that the 16th issue will be the last. Part of the reason, Casciari explains, has to do with how Orsai has come to be “expected” – a washing off of the story, I would say. The other is, indeed, related to a decline in readership, at least the readership that sustains the project economically.
I can’t say I’m not saddened by the news. After all I’ve spent over two years thinking about Orsai and indeed, this feels like reaching the last pages of a long novel. In the end, however, it is also a bit poetical (and meta) that this happened right now as my own project came to a close.