The way McSweeney’s frame their issues is where a lot of my ideas come from, because it’s how they articulate their direction, what they are trying to do. There are other places this can be found, such as the website (though the information on issues there is usually a stripped-down version of what is already in the text itself, more commercially oriented, focused on giving buyers a basic idea of what the issue is about), interviews with the creators, and anthology introductions.
The editorial content for Issue 28 is printed on the inlay of the box that the 8 fable books are contained in.
The narrative of Issue 28 is provided by Jess Benjamin, an intern who proposed the fable idea at an editorial meeting. A quick blurb introduces her idea, and then she describes why she thinks the fable is relevant for contemporary readers.
[That McSweeney’s 28 was basically produced from an intern’s idea is fascinating. This happened in a previous issue, collaboration and inclusiveness, participation from people not long-term staff. Explore this idea more, in relation to how connect with audience.]
Jess Benjamin argues that the fable as a form of fiction is useful for moral instruction, suggesting ambiguity shouldn’t be the dominant mode. McSweeney’s (like in other issues, the Chabon one e.g.) reject their own dominant mode? Though perhaps this is less important than with the Chabon, because they are more ‘normal’ now.
The idea of McSweeney’s ‘rescuing’ a lost art is significant, that they represent themselves as nonmainstream, the protectors of a certain culture. Or as introducing new ways of looking at narrative forms.
More to be written.