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 The Transatlantic Review: SUBMIT! 

Submitted by Carlo Becker on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 04:01

     You know us humanists. We study and think and write for years. And maybe in the end, if what we’ve studied and thought and written for years turns out to be well argued, relevant, never thought of before, or even true, then we might find ourselves publishing in print. Now, in order to have a sort of secondary short-term goal, to come up with my own palpable print artifact before my hair turns entirely gray, I’d chose to enroll in a class called Introduction to Literary Editing and Publishing.

     This post may serve as the final part 3 of my Midterm Evaluations in which I assess the relevance of three of my classes so far. Parts 1 and 2 on Pop and High Culture in 20th Century America and on Literary Theory, respectively, can be found on my personal blog.

     After the first session of this class, I felt very unsure if I would succeed. Imagine yourself sitting in a classroom with more than 15 (native-language) English majors. In front of you, author, writing coach, National Book Prize recipient, and editor of the nifty BrevityMag, Dinty W. Moore, tells you what you’re gonna do in this class: learn a bit about the history and present state of editing and publishing in the U.S., get your professional lingo right, present a lit mag to class, assess pieces of poetry and short fiction, participate in classroom editorial discussions, and—last but definitely not least—create your own lit mag!

     Well, to make it short, what was anxiety then is excitement now.

     Privately, I often avoid poetry. When I approach it, what I find oftentimes just doesn’t seem worth the effort which good poetry demands and deserves. Sure, I like a good poem if I read it, if it makes me relate to a special situation and makes wise use of imagery, rhythm, and meter. But what a great poem should do is catch you and force you to disseminate it, to get behind every single word and twist it around so you can maybe come to a sound interpretation. But this is a fine line which most poems fail either to the one, or to the other side. Being too blatant or trying too hard. Bottom line, I do not have a lot of experience with poetry. But then, when we finally had to assess 15-20 poems and decide which three we definitely would not/want to publish, I was very well able to make reasonable, honest, and passionate decisions and defend them in class. And so far, everything else worked out just as fine, and I’m very positive and excited about creating my own literary magazine.

     The first (and—sadly—probably only) issue of The Transatlantic Review (still a working title) will be published in print via print-on-demand. So YES, YOU CAN GET YOUR COPY in May!!! Price and stuff is still t.b.d. The TR is going to publish work by German contributors addressing the U.S., and Americans addressing Germany. Depending on sufficient submissions, that is. I am interested in the way that we make sense of that country that is not ‘ours.’ You might feel German or not—if you’ve grown up there, the country has left its mark upon you, and through its lens you have consumed and (mis)understood the United States of America. You have been shaped by Germany, but there is no way that American popular culture has not also shaped you. For Americans it’s different, but nonetheless interesting. These kinds of mutual imaginations are at the heart of The TR.

     Aside from soliciting work, my job is then to assess submissions and most likely edit the contributions which I want to see in the issue. That’s not gonna be easy because I’ll want to satisfy my teacher, my contributors, my potential readers, and—anywhere it fits in—also myself. But that’s exactly the challenge. It’ll be a lotta work, I think I already have close to 70 pages of submitted work, with hope and promises for a bit more.

    IF YOU WANT TO SUBMIT—YES! DO IT! Here’s what I want and how it works: SUBMISSIONS

     Finally, do I want to go into publishing, anyway? — Gillian Berchowitz, director of Ohio University Press, was somehow not the only person to tell us something along the lines of: “I really love my job. But you really shouldn’t do it.” Basically, it’s like in academia. Far too much work for too little money for self-destructive aficionados only. Interestingly, the only two areas in which I can imagine myself wanting to make a career (not just working to get by, eternally bitter for not simply leaving for Alaska) are academia and publishing. So it’s either that, or Alaska.

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