Publishing In Print Literary Journals Is Useless

by Shane Jones

Between watching my eight-month year old son try and cram his fist into his mouth (teething) and stuffing envelopes at work for eight hours a day (busy work), the following question wouldn’t leave my head: what’s more important in the “world of writing” (sorry, can’t word this any better)  – publishing in print literary journals or establishing a following online? Does anyone care about your new piece in the Iowa Review? Can’t you publish online in small journals and build up a following through places like twitter and facebook and reach a wider audience?

Let me back-up.

I recently received more feedback online from posting a picture of Lays potato chips than publishing a story online. It took me approximately one minute to photograph the potato chips and post to instagram, while the short story, estimating drafting/editing/submitting, took approximately ten hours. It was this juxtaposition that triggered the question above. I understand the two aren’t necessarily connected, but it’s interesting to question the contemporary importance of traditional literary print magazines in a world where even writers are obsessed with online promotion where many of the things they randomly say/do on twitter/facebook/instagram/tumblr gets them more attention. Continue reading

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25 Points: Cloud Atlas (RK)

by Rauan Klassnik

Cloud Atlas Boring

visual aid – © Rauan Klassnik, 2013 (all rights reserved!)

 *****

[ I’m sorry, everyone, that it’s taken me this long to join the Cloud Atlas conversation. And I’m talking the movie Cloud Atlas which made a tremendously profound impression on me–so profound, in fact, that just the mention of the words “Cloud Atlas” (by tongue or in print), causes, usually, something in my brain to short circuit. And I start to sweat, and to drool, and, within a second or two, pass out on the spot. But this morning I have, miraculously, been able to overcome the beast of those two simple words, “Cloud Atlas,” and, laboring in a kind of inspired, biblical and epic fervor/trance, have organized my thoughts into a complex, intricate and classical analysis of the movie, Cloud Atlas. ] Continue reading

LOOSE RULES FOR OUR ATTENTION

by Ken Baumann

Photo by Kate Ter Haar.

Photo by Kate Ter Haar.

As I get older, sicker, and more beset with claims on my attention, I find myself dreaming up simple rules for gracefully consuming my way through the world. As a person reliant on deeply industrialized and entangled societies for money, food, medicine and entertainment, I find that simple tricks help me feel sane. Heuristics are useful when navigating complex systems, be it 21st century America or your personal ethics.

The following rules of thumb might help if you feel overwhelmed with the incomprehensible amount of interesting culture to eat and be eaten by. Because books are the media that I chase and covet the most, I’ll use them here. Altering the immortal words of Gale: “So many books, so little time.”

1. When in doubt, don’t read it.
Err on the side of omission. You might die tomorrow—hell, you might die tonight—and wouldn’t you regret it if you slogged through fifty more pages of some book that just feels serviceable? Continue reading

Save the Pit Bull! – Talking to Jereme Dean

by Rauan Klassnik

jeremy with flowerjeremy with flower

Jereme Dean’s Facebook page is filled with macho, sexist and self-professed “asshole” comments. But mixed in are posts concerned with the environment, the socially and politically embattled, and, above all, posts asking, poignantly (with pictures), for people to save, or help save, a dog’s life: ie, a dog, usually a pit bull, that’s about to be euthanized.

What follows, then, are some questions I sent Jereme and the answers he sent back. The core of the interview is the Pit Bull (“most every dog I’ve posted about is dead”) but it is also Jereme Dean, his views on people, culture, the media, etc.

*****

Do you prefer dogs to people?

I wouldn’t necessarily say I prefer dogs over people but… have you ever witnessed a dog walking around in sweatpants and boots or making faux inspiration videos or quipping a passive-aggressive remark on some forum or writing a pre-school philosopy poem about beyonce? I haven’t. I appreciate their lack of language–their honesty.

Human beings are great while in the concrete world: fucking; fighting; dancing; crying. It’s their abstractions which creates a psychological division. Most people revel in the bullshit creations of the 21st century. I can’t relate.

I enjoy specific human interaction though, but not much. 4, maybe 5, people, total.

I do think dogs prefer my company, people not so much.

Adorable puppy needs adoption

one of Jereme’s FB shares — “Adorable Puppy Needs Adoption” — (Jereme’s Note) Continue reading