Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Literary Journals: "What Is The Future? Death?"

What is the future of the literary journal? This piece by Carolyn Kellogg tentatively posits McSweeney's as a successful model for literary journals. Confession: even though I am a regular purchaser and reader of The Believer I have yet to find anything compelling about McSweeney's. I'm also ambivalent toward the fiction issues of The New Yorker and The Atlantic. n+1, on the other hand? Big fan. I think n+1 pretty much embodies Ted Genoways' plea for "an outward glance onto a wrecked and lovely world worthy and in need of the attention of intelligent, sensitive writers."

Genoways and his fellow ranters, however, lose me with their elitist strategies. "For Christ's sake, write something we might want to read," is a punchy ending. But it elicits different responses from different readers. I happen to miss the sort of fiction that GQ and Esquire used to publish: "Guy Fic", if you will. (Seek out "Until Gwen" by Dennis Lehane (originally published in The Atlantic(!)) for the most recent example I can think of.)

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