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

One Response

  1. Meg says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I am quite astonished to have happened on your blog given that I have recently started some research on McSweeney’s for a paper I’m writing for an undergraduate study abroad program. I was wondering if there are any sources you’ve found particularly useful and if you might be willing to do me the enormous favor of pointing me in the right direction? I’m hoping to find some nuts and bolts information on the history and development of the Quarterly Concern (beyond the tidbits always mentioned in reviews or brief articles), some statistics on readership or number of subscriptions, maybe?

    Your ideas are very interesting, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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