Look: it’s not that I’m a dick when it comes to this stuff. It’s that I like to think that I have standards based on exposure to the interdependent duo of lit and life. But if I decide not to wuss out and instead uphold my particular notion of standards, I’m a dick, and being a dick could lead to dickish reviews of my own stuff from Shane Jones, his friends, and friends of the publisher. George Saunders told us all to “err in the direction of kindness.” But is this essay/review I’m writing unkind? Is it selfish? Is it generous? Is a kindness policy maybe too simple?Lee Klein worries about small-press book reviewing in an ambivalent, lukewarm take on Shane Jones's new novel Crystal Eaters (excerpt) that others have, all the same, called cowardly and dickish.
Cartoonist Julia Wertz reflects on the years she spent consumed by alcoholism and depression, via comics and prose. [Previously] [more inside]
"Alt lit [previously] is accused of navel-gazing myopia, but technically any writing occurring outside of traditional institutions qualifies for the label. Everyone I know has written alt lit: every status update, every blog post, everything that has ever been said on Twitter. And Twitter, unbeknown to Jonathan Franzen, is especially literary...Which brings me to Heiko Julien," Author (and composer) of "I Am Ready To Die A Violent Death." [more inside]
Eclipse is a free on-line archive focusing on digital facsimiles of the most radical small-press writing from the last quarter century. [more inside]
The Independent Press Association is officially dead. It's demise was a long time coming. The future of small magazines looks pretty bleak.
Jim Munroe is a zine publisher in Toronto who wrote a couple of small novels, got one ("Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask") picked up by Harper Collins, and got out of his contract to self-release his latest book. I don't know if it surprises anyone that the mainstream book scene is about as non-lucrative and power-consolidated as the music world is, but he's posted all the gory details, as well as a detailed and friendly how-to for self-publishing.