This is a progressive journal that understands the advantages of being online, and offers the reader a number of options that are simply not available in the print format. In the past they have presented an animated version of "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe, a live reading of the same story by Vincent Price, various live comedies by different comedians, artwork by Dali, Goya, and El Greco, and even a Flamenco dance. One never knows what they are going to present each month, but that’s part of the fun.
In this issue, their first after recently moving from a monthly to a quarterly publication schedule, I was particularly taken by “Sisyphus Explains” by Sara Amis, a fictionalized account based on the myth of Sisyphus. The story seemed so real that I couldn’t help wondering how Sara got her information:
You scream and cry and curse the gods in all of the languages you know, which is only one, and carry on until you notice there are no echoes and your shouts die away into nothing and then you stop. You throw yourself down the hill after the rock and roll to the bottom. Covered in dust, you lie where you stopped and weep, except you do not have tears. Neither tears nor blood; these belong to the living.
Another good one is “La Santa Muerta” by Gabriel Valjan, where a murder in Mexico is investigated and found to involve feuds, myths, and revenge. The story is written with that style peculiar to Spanish literature: very personal, one-on-one, as though being told in a coffee shop or around a campfire, and you can trust in the integrity of the teller and thereby the truth of the story. The style here causes one to be pulled into the tale and accept it as fact, even though it is fiction.
In the Classic Series is a selection by Virginia Wolfe entitled “The Great Frost” from Orlando, giving the reader a glimpse of the deceased author at her best.
In leafing through the archives, I came upon a wonderful essay entitled “On Stupidity” by Gary Percesepe, an associate editor at Rick Magazine. He begins with a quote from Flaubert: “There are three things required for happiness "good health, selfishness, and stupidity; and without stupidity the others are useless,” and ends with this sentence of his own creation: “Stupidity is the public display, with absolute confidence, of affection for not knowing; it is a posture that deflects all arguments and criticism, preferring to dwell serenely in a hermetically sealed bubble in a world of one’s own making, void of the necessary social and intellectual concourse that might lead one to think otherwise.” Not only is this a delicious definition, but the rest of the essay is interesting, too. It should be required reading for school children (adults will just nod their heads wisely and go on being stupid).
This lit mag has only been around for a year but already is getting noticed by lit mags that rate other lit mags. Rae Bryant, the editor, is coming out with a print anthology soon, so they have big plans for the years to come. Check it out if you want to see the looming future of online publications.