Mostly (not) on McSweeney's!

A blog for my academic ideas, more or less.

Trying to Shift Up, Stagnant Day

Interview with Eli Horowitz.

Think about a) what Eli says b) the medium of the interview.

a) Interesting for diversity of subjects covered, to start with. Exposure to the full gamut of McSweeney’s offering.

a) Discusses people hating McSweeney’s — how they’ve become ‘cultural touchstone’ – that the word represents a cultural touchstone for experimental, different literature. This isn’t quite what I’ve experienced, people are often criticising it for not being experimental enough. But there is definitely the thing he talks about too, people just not understanding/liking what they do.

b) My god, he’s so young! Editor/designer of McSweeney’s and publisher of The Believer. Quite a lo-fi interview, the interviewer seems a bit deferential, but then there’s nothing wrong with doing that, interviewing the people you respect/admire. Seems like he had fun doing it.

b) Thinking about video as medium, access to creators. This video contributing to a biographical discourse of McSweeney’s creators, something that ‘McSweeney’s’ in its two main incarnations (website, journal) doesn’t encourage, or facilitate. Who would be interested in this? Investigate who has linked to it, diggs, delicious (this ties into current debate in my work over how far readers come into my research, or how far they should come in — danger is subjective opinions, but some kind of quantifiable element like analysing link statistics could be useful, if make clear that looking at a specific cultural group; but how much relevance can I pull from looking at internet McSweeney’s fans? Doesn’t that just give me internet McSweeney’s fans, and little else?

b) Like being at the Book Expo itself; consider Book Expos and McSweeney’s documented involvement in them, the practical (pragmatic?) realities of book publishing, of literary capitalism.

Filed under: mcsweeneys

About Me:

My name is Kevin O'Neill and I am in the fifth year of a part-time PhD in the English Department of Goldsmiths, London, UK. I used to teach undergrad classes there (now: not, because there are other PhD students who need teaching experience). I work (most of the time) in the Oxfam shop in Dalston because few people get paid to do humanities PhDs.

My research centres around the literary journal McSweeney's. My interest is developing into what McSweeney's tells us about two separate (but I guess related) fields: 1) literary institutions 2) American cultural production, more broadly. This blog was initially about my PhD but is now a more general thinking space.

See right for my flickr/twitter/delicious feeds, then below for other versions of me.

Email is looceefir on gmail.


November 2008
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