Where does this journal or any journal take you, take me, take us, take anyone? A literary journal is a literary review. I have called this journal a review because I prefer it, maybe in the way I prefer grapefruit juice to orange juice? Or should I say, in the way I prefer ruby red grapefruit juice to the other grapefruit juice?
This review is made up of literary essays and a blog, and in some places on-line is cached as The Essay Review, and in others, it is boxed as The Falling Leaf Review, formerly The Essay Review. You may access it by fallingleafreview.org. Where then does it go, does it arrive, does it take us? What does it–can it–achieve? Questions keep coming. I try to answer them as they arrive. I sometimes only respond, no answers for some questions. Do I intend to avoid answers?
What has this review become before my eyes watching it grow, watching it as it has come to where it is at present. It goes clearly into the world of thinking as a tradition of thinking has been developed by traditions in the west since antiquity. We explore these. Yes, I do not ever know what I think until I write, unless I write–the writing is where I find out how I think. Writing is salvation as it is sanitation, sanitizing me–my sanity is contained herein. All sanity is about sanitation; you do know this, don’t you? To sanitize is to keep sanity. To be sane is to be clean in the mind, right? You get it, don’t you?
What then must we do in face of power and money and decadent politicians and Presidents who are the bitches of Wall Street or protected by Oil gangsters. Do I have an axe to grind with power and monied elites? Of course I do, but I also have observations and critiques as well as explications and expositions in defense of Democracy, upper case by necessity. How could I not? A belief in the power of the People makes what I have to say other than simple diatribes against power from a simple separate person whose lonely voice is swallowed by a cacophony of social noises . . . what then must we do? We take care of the misery in front of us. We know that we can only add our light so others can see better. There is only the writing; everything is subservient to this, the word on the virtual page. I am the editor and the chief writer of the review; I have been the same for others, The October Review, for one. I am a people of one.
People is a word that demands the upper case here and elsewhere, when we are talking about Jefferson’s We the People. The People are an institution of power in a society, the only one large enough, dense enough, to countermand that of the power of the state. But we the people are fragmented, which wouldn’t be so bad if we could manage our solitary confinement in our skin–we might better handle this fragmentary isolation, molding an archipelago, if we could read and write better and if it had a higher place in our thoughts, a more commanding respect from ourselves.
The fore mentioned simple separate person is often more easily dismissed by power than honest, genuine and passionate critique that employs the energy of a form that has often been used against power and has never really been employed by power. The Literary Essay then is most importantly an organ of Truth, also by necessity in upper case. We need to read and write better and maintain a higher level of respect for those who can really perform the task, if we are going to protect our freedom, manage our democracy for the betterment of all people.