Why the name Toska? There's not a clear answer, even from me.
When starting the zine I wanted to find a single word for the title. I also quickly realized I wanted a word that most of us would have no attachment to. Thus began the hunt for interesting words in different languages. After reading list after list of interesting words and jotting down many, I looked at what I had and saw toska. I liked it. It sounded like a Japanese word and so it stuck in my head as such. It was only recently in talking with Sana that I found that Toska is actually a Russian word. I went back and realized my error in association.
Although the Russia of today is a hot mess, there is a rich literary history in Russia. It's worth a dig.
The meaning of Toska doesn't translate well to english and honestly I like that. But it can be roughly translated as a deep sadness or a longing of the soul.
I believe the soul longs to express itself in good times and in bad. And while the happy times in life get their due, I think we should pay more attention to the sad, not to wallow, but to become aware of the state we are in, experience it, and find a way to move out of it. So cheers to the joys of life, cheers to your toska, cheers to my toska, and cheers to this little zine Toska. May you find occasional sadness mixed with triumphant beauty within it.