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Link Roundup: On the Vitality, Beauty, and Necessity of UPs and Lit Mags

PUBLISHED: May 15, 2009

After reading Ted Genoways’s manifestos on the future of university presses and journals, I was roused to put together a link roundup in praise of the grand old UP, and lit mags of all sorts. Here are a few further examples of why UPs and lit mags are necessary, beautiful, and vital:

  • Harvard University Press continues to regale us with Walter Benjaminalia. Noah Isenberg’s recent essay on Benjamin’s ever-growing posthumous reputation recognizes the indispensable role that Harvard UP has played in cementing his place on the Mount Rushmore of literary criticism and cultural studies.
  • Pekka Hämäläinen’s The Comanche Empire, recently published by Yale University Press, pretty much rewrites the history of empire and colonialism in North America. In this compelling book, Hämäläinen chronicles the until-now unrecognized rise of the Comanche Indians, an indigenous empire that “eclipsed its various European rivals in military prowess, political prestige, economic power, commercial reach, and cultural influence.”
  • Tag team edited by Bradford Morrow and Brian Evenson, the Spring 2009 issue of Conjunctions is a compilation of fiction “betwixt and between.” Like the highly influential (to this writer at least) New Wave Fabulists issue of Conjunctions, “Betwixt the Between” is more than an issue of a literary magazine, it is an articulation of a new literary aesthetic.
  • Anyone who thinks that literary magazines cannot survive in the digital age has not seen Triple Canopy. Nominated for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online, bends design and content like an object approaching the speed of light.
  • And for all you fiction writers out there, Laura van den Berg has a new piece in The Review Review on the virtues of submitting to literary magazines, no matter what the result. As she writes: “The massive amount of rejections I garnered early on taught me not only that rejection was something I needed to get used to, but also the importance of separating my artistic ambitions from my professional ones.”

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