Articles

Monday’s Suggestion

In Matt, Monday's Suggestion, Periodicals on November 15, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , ,

Electric Literature

Art from an ad campaign run by Electric Literature and a nod to what has long been deemed, in the literature world, the essence of the commercialization beast and tackled in various ways

…is a quarterly literary magazine founded in 2009 that is distributed mainly through the internet; the first to take the plunge into the silent noise abyss. (http://www.electricliterature.com/index.html)

Prices for single copies range from about $5 on eBook, Kindle, and Sony Reader, to about $10 in print (which they produce per request); And yearly subscriptions cost $16 in electric formats including PDF and $32 in print, unless you don’t reside in one of our United States. Then it’ll cost you 56 US dollars.

The exciting feature is the iPhone app which I believe costs $16 as well, but then it seems as though you can get old issues for free, so I might be missing some subtlety.

On the “About” page, the Editors, Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum, describe their cause for founding the company with a noticeable touch of survivor’s guilt:

“People of our generation—with one foot in the past and one in the future—must make sure that the media gap is bridged in a way that preserves and honors literature. We don’t want to be sentimental old folks in a world where literary fiction is only read by an esoteric few.”

And a creed:

“Electric Literature’s mission is to use new media and innovative distribution to return the short story to a place of prominence in popular culture.”

But they’re probably correct about reading being more accessible than conventional wisdom holds:

“We’re tired of hearing that literary fiction is doomed. Everywhere we look, people are reading—whether it be paperbooks, eBooks, blogs, tweets, or text messages…”

…cause if you pay attention, you’ll notice that everybody does read. It can surprise you in a way that subsequently makes you feel a little dumb or delinquent for having been surprised, the same way seeing someone eat carrots as an actual snack might surprise you and then sudden feelings that you’re maybe not normal, just unhealthy, spill in.

There were probably a few generations of stuffy old stone tablet snobs or crabby sentimentalists periodically declaring with finality and arrogance ‘the death of cuneiform as we know it’ before papyrus became the common method for record keeping, mass communication, and information sharing. Or there was probably a constituency of open minded urbanites who were yet sentimental about the way hand written calligraphy felt on the page and so treated the printing press like it was a moral conundrum. (That’s really not a knock on people’s right to think about what they feel is important to think about, or what they just want to think about. There really are legitimate moral considerations when it comes to technology that could revolutionize the way something important functions. It’s a joke, and more of an expression of frustration at the difficulty without guarantee of success, inherent to such problems, as well as the not-necesarily obtainable circumstances that are, never-the-less, necessary to facilitate said success, of which blogging does not provide.) Calligraphy is still thriving.

Four issues have be published so far (if published is even the right word anymore…)

-Matt

P.S.

They get creative and combine other popular viral art media with the literature at the center, an example of which is below; Although, I have to point out that the animation and music overtakes the quote, which is a somewhat ironic example of why literature is considered a dangered species of art.

P.P.S.

This is the first installment of our magazine series that we will run periodically.

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