The writing is the thing that makes this review what it is. Writing is an endeavor I take very seriously. Literacy and the literary are primary concerns because I understand literacy to be one of the cornerstones of civilization. Ours is not an oral culture, no matter how many delusions we suffer, spawned by semi-literacy, by a stunted sense of history, or by an endemic ignorance inside a number of communities that have been allowed to grow artificially apart, mostly through media manipulation of images; as if being semi-literate, violent, poor and very ignorant were the prime values of any culture and represented what it meant to be authentically any people–No, this is false.
Will there be anything about literary figures? Certainly, there will. About poetry, fiction, non-fiction? Yes, yes and yes. About drama, theater, film and other media arts? Yes, yes, yes and so on yes. How could there not be within the confines of a literary review–any literary review, but especially one edited and published by me. I know that this is more self-serving than it serves the needs of information, or what could (perhaps should) be informative in a blurb such as this . . . I take this tradition of the Small Press review seriously, as I do the demands of what a literary review should be, and yes, I assent to there being a set of shoulds in the mater and manner of composing a Literary Review. Blurbs about writers and books will be found in the blog section, short entries, again, as mentioned in other places in the About Us page, 250 words or less, but maybe 300 or a little more from time to time.
Will there be passages of biography included? The biographies of writers, yes; a biography of me, perhaps not explicitly, rather covertly? There is always something of biography in all writing, no? The literary essay also includes the personal essay, so how could we avoid biographical content when I am not only the publisher and the editor but the principal author of the texts? How could I not expose myself in the writing when what is written is in itself expository. The nature of the form of writing draws out of the writer more explicit references to the Self.
Everything any writer writes is also part of his biography–no? Will the review be a mapping, a sketching, a tracing, a mirroring of the mind–my mind, the chief author’s mind? I am the only author, so the “we” used above was a convention, as most traditional editorial writing adopted the convention of what we used to call the editorial we. I imagine that projecting something of my thinking would be impossible to avoid. The thoughts the writer, me, thinks will always be exposed–all expository rose exposing its topic as well as the writer, a mutual and reciprocal expose performed every time the writer me writes an essay. Again, that is what the form demands, at least in part–the essay essaying thus testing an df trying out ideas arguments positions propositions, whatever else we have in our rhetoric to name what it is we do when we write an essay. I am the essays within; the essays within are me. I am the editorials; I am all the commentary; I am everything in this review, web journal, literary web journal, what else have we in the way we name our webzines, magazine, all press what? What I can say about the writing within? It is true that I do not know what I think until I write. What I write mirrors what I think is something I say a lot. I used to believe that there was nothing that better mirrored thinking than writing; in turn, bad writing is bad thinking. Cluttered on the page is cluttered in the mind. I am sorry for those of you who have suffered many delusions about your writing, fostered by a pedagogy that enfeebles while it pretends to support and uplift. Everyone is special while all the time every one is mediocre, everyone is the same banal, effete, insipid, semi-literate, undereducated worker bee in this bee hive of the American State. How is it you imagine the power and monied elites do not look at us as if you and I were ants is beyond my comprehension.
How could I not write, write and write some more about whatever there may be to write about, even not having anything to say about something that could have been written about but was not? How could I write about anything and not have it tell you something of me, about me? There is also an essay on the failed exposition, something that used to be a recurring topic in my journals–this too could say something about me. But we would need to be better readers, active readers, participating readers, readers taught and expected in schools to read more deeply, on a variety of levels or for a variety of purposes, often times by the better readers, simultaneously. All good reading, though, still, is re-reading.
This review could not avoid but tell you something of me. We are mutual. I mean, what do we have to judge people apart from actions without words except what they say, or write, which is just another way to say. So, every writer’s question of being would be to say or not to say; that is, of course, to write or not to write. This is every writers to be or not. Everywhere is an Elsinore, especially the mind. How is Hamlet’s castle not my skull and brain and mind? Hamlet’s interiority is my interiority. Hamlet is the birth of the Modern.
Most of us fear writing because it is so revealing; we write badly in an attempt not to show ourselves on the page. Thoughts are naked, so we try to dress, and this always turns out badly; it’s like putting a tuxedo on a lion. We misunderstand writing or dis-understand it. We fear understanding because we imagine that if we understand something, we must agree with it. To understand is not to agree, but we think it is, so whenever we disagree with something, we avoid understanding it, and sometimes we force a dis-understanding when we suspect we might understand. The problem here is that this practiced dis-understanding, or enculturated misunderstanding for thongs we do n to agree with, does not foster a desire to understand what we do agree with. We often do not know why we agree with anything, when we do. Garbled writing reflects garbled thinking. Try writing about something you agree with, why, maybe how. We are left at the mercy of our passions, worse, our emotions, feeling our way through life like the blind or the deaf or both. We then wonder why we get the candidates we get at election time, the campaigns we suffer, the kind of media we endure, as if all were a mystery only God can know. And as stupidly religious as we are in America–and religion does not have to make you stupid–it is not wonder we leave so much of our lives to Heaven.
I do not write manifestos, at least not intentionally. What exactly are my intentions? Some of you might want these expressed and listed, but I refuse on the grounds that they are not necessary for your discernments within. They mostly only ever serve to distract a reader, lists of intentions. I have to let the writing speak for itself and stand on its own. Anything I say either way with whatever purpose is another workout in futility. The Review is the Thing, as I have said before for The October Revue, sometimes cached as The Revue. I know that Hamlet announced rather boldly that the play was the thing to capture the conscience of a king; what then do I hope to capture, to hold, to obtain, what other word do we have that I could use to express just what I intend with this review. What I do instead of intend is attend, a kind of special waiting; the etymology of the English attend is the French attender which translates, to wait. What then do I intend by this waiting, this special attendance, an attending to the details, paying attention to the necessities of publishing the review, to be at attention is the demand I accept as editor, one I must engage as the chief author of the texts . . . and so on and so on and so on.
The product is the response. One-thousand seven hundred and eighteen words later, where are you in your understanding my intentions?