8/18/08

sometimes one lit mag feels more important than other lit mags


The Mississippi Review has been publishing since 1971. It is edited by Frederick Barthelme and has published writers like Raymond Carver and Ann Beattie. It is talked about in this post by Tao Lin. Frederick Barthelme wrote the novel Two Against One. This book and other books by him are mentioned in this list of minimalist books and writers—along with books by Ann Beattie and Mary Robison, who used to teach at the Center for Writers with Barthelme and is a contributing editor to MR. It is not inaccurate I don't think to say that MR is 'important and significant' in minimalist literary history. Raymond Carver said this about MR: "one of the most remarkable and indispensable literary journals of our time." There are a lot of things that could be said about this point, I think. But I don't think this point is 'wrong' or 'controversial' really at all.

MR is significant for online literature. MR started publishing an online version of the journal in 1995 and has published lots of good writing and writers ever since. The online issues are usually guest edited (as is the print version sometimes) but the content still 'widely reflects' the content of the print version and the 'post-minimalist aesthetic' in general. MR and MR.com publish literature that is part of a 'writing movement' that I think could be accurately described as 'post-minimalist.' Other journals publish this sort of writing like NOON, but I think it is 'additionally significant' that MR also publishes online. MR is 'doing something that other journals are not doing' or something. I think I am making sense.

There is more. MR is 'closely associated' with writers of serious literature. There are lots of 'connections' that make 'what we are doing' a part of 'what MR is doing' and vice versa. Tao Lin and Brandon Gorrell and myself have been published by MR. People 'admire' things written by Frederick Barthelme. Frederick Barthelme does the writing program at the University of Southern Mississippi where Mazie Louise Montgomery studied. Kim Chinquee also studied there with Barthelme and also publishes in MR has work in places like NOON, elimae, and so on. As was already indicated, Mary Robison taught at the program and is an editor for MR and an influential minimalist writer. These minimalist writers have been visiting writers at the program: Raymond Carver, Joy Williams, Ann Beattie, and Bobbie Ann Mason. Again, look at this list.

I don't know. I am just trying to make some points about things I have thought about a lot for a long time. I think some of this is accurate. I think some other people have probably thought about this too. That's all.

Buy MR. Submit to MR. 'MR is important.' 'Frederick Barthelme is our friend.'

MISSISSIPPI REVIEW WEBSITE: mississippireview.com