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Eclectica Magazine - January/February 2009

  • Issue Number: Volume 13 Number 1
  • Published Date: January/February 2009
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly online

This magazine has been in existence since 1996, making it one of the more long lasting and consistent ezines of its kind. They seem to have very eclectic tastes in what they present to the reading public, hence, no doubt, the name. In this latest issue, there is much to choose from, including a spotlight on pop culture chronicler Chris Epting; a letter from Editor Tom Dooley; commentary; fiction; poetry; non-fiction; travel articles; reviews and interviews; and some satire.

One of the best stories I have read this past year is “Semolinian Equinox” by Svetlana Lavochkina, a Ukrainian immigrant who now resides in Leipzig. It portrays the wild and unfettered lives of several students in the 90’s at Donetsk University, their struggle for money, food, and cigarettes, their bohemian love lives and personal intrigues, while simultaneously attending classes and attempting to obtain degrees. Another good one is “America!” by Abbas Zaidi, a beautifully constructed slice of life about a reporter in Pakistan during the post 9/11 period.

On the non-fiction side, Chris Epting gives a moving account in “Be Like Mike” of a meeting between basketball star Michael Jordan at the peak of his career and a worshipful eleven-year-old boy who is living out the last weeks of his life riddled with a grave disease. There is non-fiction here covering such diverse topics as economics and Virginia Woolf, and book reviews ranging from a new rendition of Frankenstein to something called “Five Quick and Dirty Lit Site Reviews” by Scott Malby, which begins with the thunderous declaration, “With the exception of Shakespeare who transcends his medium, everything after the brilliant literary contributions of Greece and Rome can be said to represent a paraphrase.”

Lastly, I would point the reader to Dennis Kaplan’s review of Vincent Bugliosi’s recent book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, where Mr. Kaplan takes the author to task for being overly histrionic when he could have been much more effective by just sticking to the facts.

One can get a pretty good education simply by reading this magazine every quarter, and it is surprising that the editors are able find this much quality material in each three month period. The website is nicely laid out and pleasing to the eye: something for everyone here.

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Review Posted on April 17, 2009

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