"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wMonday, June 02, 2003

I SAW HER FACE: But I'm not, yet, a Believer. My most recent Books & Culture/Christianity Today column is about the new offering from the McSweeney's empire, a monthly lit magazine called The Believer. One thing I'll say here that I forgot to include in the piece: The dumb editors failed to even respond to five separate requests for an interview, so now they're stuck with my own opinions. To wit:

Co-editor Heidi Julavits opened the issue with a 9,000 word essay in which she attacked "the snarky dumbed-down world of book reviewing" and attempted an explanation (of sorts) of the magazine's odd title. Affirming her faith in the unrealized possibility of literature, Julavits called for a whole new "era of experimentation, and a book culture that will support it." The Believer is meant to usher in that culture.

That's quite the tall order for any magazine to fill. One need not be overly cynical (or "snarky") to doubt that the Believer/McSweeney's talent pool will be up to it. The amount of genius and enthusiasm needed to sustain such an enterprise simply beggers belief (apologies for the lousy pun). [more]

posted by Jeremy at 11:28 AM