June 2012

Standards, Gimmicks

In keeping with the ultimate fate of all cultural debates, the cultural debate about the future of publishing seems to have passed the point where anyone is willing to be persuaded one way or another. Gone is the hope that there exists a speck of data or an insider’s anecdote decisive enough to tip our frozen convictions once and for all toward hope or despair.

Or perhaps our sympathies could still be enlisted, the thaw precipitated by an unlikely agent: an advertisement found last June in the New York Times Book Review, an organ that’s done its share of anguishing over the future of publishing. “imagine a world without… Faulkner or Joyce or Angelou or Tolstoy,” invited the ad. “That’s what it will feel like if you don’t embrace and publish the novels of ANDREW WARREN.”

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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—James Santel

James Santel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania last month. His work has appeared in the Millions and the Rumpus and is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Point.

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