There’s some good stuff hitting the ‘sphere.
First off, Jimmy Beck takes down New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman — specifically, over the insufferable Ann Beattie story now hitting mailboxes. Now the New Yorker still publishes good fiction (that last T.C. Boyle story comes immediately to mind), but if you need a hard dose of the Genuine Article, the latest Ploughshares (featuring a hearty offering of young writers handpicked by others) and a subscription to the always reliable ZYZZYVA or The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction might be a start. It would be foolish to declare that the New Yorker has jumped the shark. But I would love — just love — for the New Yorker to publish something gritty, something that would reduce us all to tears, if only to subvert the de rigueur digression of McSweeney’s and the overall obsession with upscale Caucasians living in upstate New York complaining about things that a few rounds of therapy couldn’t cure. Why not commission Edward Jones (now the proud winner of the Pulitzer) or Colson Whitehead or Dorothy Allison or someone like Kathy Acker or anyone, goddam anyone, to write about the seamy side of life? At the very least, it might leave a few Caucasians clutching their claret with greater alacrity. But then that’s what fiction is about, isn’t it? Leave in the umlauts for words like “reentry” and spell “role” in that funky way. That’s why we love the New Yorker. And besides, that isn’t the issue. Treisman needs to understand that it’s the 21st century.
Then there’s Laila looking into the Zoo Press deal. I’ve received no callbacks from Azevedo either. But I’ll keep trying. On the Atlantic front, I’ve been playing telephone tag with a very nice lady in the advertising department. Don’t know if I’ll get any answers, but I’ll keep you folks posted.
The illustrious Mark Sarvas remains in New York, but he has, to my considerable astonishment, checked in here when he should be doing other things. Do visit The Elegant Variation and keep Scott Handy some company. He’s doing a fine yeoman’s job at guest blogging this week.
Sam promises to offer a series this week devoted to narrative elements.
There are two big questions at About Last Night: (1) Who’s feeding Terry the Rockstars? and (2) Where the sam hill is OGIC?
And visit the good folks on the left while you’re at it.
All good stuff. Joe Bob says check it out.
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