The Falling Leaf Review is a literary review, a literary web journal dedicated to the literary essay, the literary essay itself dedicated to a trial of ideas, the set of possible ideas themselves nearly infinite. The word ‘essay’ comes from the French essayer which means to try or to test. With this nearly infinite possibility of topics to choose from, anything can be the subject of an essay herein. One criterium will always remain, the form we call the literary say, whether the sites of that essay are set within, as in the personal essay, or on society, as in social critique or social commentary, or whether it is writing itself, or the pictorial arts, or literature, or music, or history or historical events, or political crises or crises in ethics, government or governing, that is also inclusive of citizenship; or, literary essays on a word, a walk on the beach along the Mediterranean or the South Fork of Eastern Long Island, or through the galleries of a museum, in Paris or Montreal, Barcelona, Madrid, Philadelphia, Boston, Cambridge, Washington, Baltimore, Miami, whatever else have we of museums in the world, I have been to virtually every museum in New York City.
Is it the purpose of this Review to examine politics in general and politics as they are played out on the American stage both currently and historically? Yes, it is. Of course it is; I take this truth to be self-evident that it should be the goal or intention of any literary review to have something intelligent and critical to say to and about power and money, even if the vehicle is the literary essay and thereby governed by a discipline not necessarily politically scientific. The literary essay is adaptive to any subject, any thesis, and has only its own governing generic considerations of form and greater aesthetic considerations to which to must defer. What a literary essay is will not be exhausted at the moment. The Literary Essay as a form has Montaigne as its originator, its inventor, its guiding Principal–of course. The Literary Essay as we use it, develop our ideas in it, has the essays of Montaigne as guiding force. His are he eemplary models; they are the model(s) of our form.
We are not interested in journalism as journalism gets written in the mainstream press. This kind of commentary or reporting is not the purpose of the critiques found within the confines of this review, although commentary also has a lot to do with what we say. Montaigne’s essays were also in the form of commentary, personal experience as aa medium of both exchange and understanding. To fall in line with contemporary print media would be a mistake for any print medium that wants to commit itself to Truth–and we at The Falling Leaf Review believe that Truth exists, and we have a highly articulate definition (i.e., understanding) of Truth. Absolutes and transcendental realities are also part of our metaphysical armory; we believe that there is something we could call Truth, and yes, part of the believe is the necessity for it to be written with a capital ‘T.”
We accept that something of the best of print media commentary should not be eschewed. Again, it certainly is not the intention of any of the expositions herein to meet the needs of what we call today journalistic commentary, but once more let me iterate that all good writing is good writing, and good writing is the mark. (There is always a truth in any tautology.) We take our political responsibility seriously here at The Falling Leaf Review–I cannot imagine it otherwise; therefore, we must engage in political commentary or critique, even to the point of Jeremiads, which you will find examples of herein.
We do insist that the kind of critique or commentary or exposition found here can only be done effectively when literacy is raised above the levels we have come to accept as good enough. Let us say that we know it is not good enough unilaterally. Let us not pretend that we need to soften this. As a result of our attention to literacy and the literary, we will also examine pedagogy, particularly the teaching of reading and writing as it has been managed (or mismanaged) by our schools, more nefariously, by state bureaucracies. State sponsored education is always going to be a mediocre education and is never going to teach in a way that ensures the greater dissemination of literacy or democracy. By restricting the former, the latter cant help but shrink in its radius.
We intend to look again at what everyone has looked at, what everybody has viewed with one or another prejudice–and that is irrespective of the topic under discussion. Yes, everything seen through one or another distorting lens, refracting one or another bigotry could be examined herein; and in the hyper-subjectivity of our culture, there are an increasing number of prejudices and bigotries to address. Yet, who among us sees with absolute clarity? We like to ask this question rhetorically. Is it really, though, impossible? Are the notions we have about clarity similar to the ones we hold about knowledge? And we do have an entrenched doubt concerning knowledge, what it is, what the limits are, or if it can be attained. Impossibility, though, is a certainty I avoid. Infinite possibility is a mass too dense regardless the size. It is an avalanche waiting to bury us, as I have said before in another essay. I do and I will repeat myself; repetition herein is mostly motif.