Washington Post book columnist Michael Dirda indulges a fantasy that afflicts nearly every book lover at some time or another — the desire to run a literary magazine. I know this temptation well. Sure, I know, the Internet gives everyone the equivalent of a printing press and blogging tools are the equivalent of a free photocopy machine with an unlimited budget for stamps — in other words, a zine publisher’s dream come true. But there’s still something compelling about a nice, chunky literary quarterly printed on a nice, off-white, toothy paper and deep black ink. It’s a form of nostalgia, I suppose. Dirda understands the impulse and gives it free reign here. Then he closes with an unapologetically sentimental hymn of praise to the literary arts.
I do believe in the great W’s: the whimsical and the wistful, the witty and the worldly. But then knowledge of the arts really should be a source of personal amusement and satisfaction. You memorize poetry, said Anthony Burgess, so that you can belt out appropriate verse when drunk, just as art in general, as Samuel Johnson reminded us, should allow people to better enjoy life or to better endure it. (via bookslut)