I spent this past weekend reading Daniel Scott Snelson’s contribution to Mimeo Mimeo #3. It’s a really interesting article, and, like all good essays, it spurred my thoughts on its subject (“little magazines”) in new directions, particularly about what I can and will do with the NewLights journal-to-be Et Al. I would like to spend the next few posts here (during this blissfully short, gorgeous, holiday week) dwelling on and in sections of Danny’s essay. The goal is not to perform a close, critical reading, but to use collage, notes, and hyperlinks to elaborate on the ideas that I have found compelling.

BUT FIRST, a brief description of the overall essay:
[…] In Simultaneously Agitated in All Directions, Daniel Scott Snelson discusses the relationship between structuralism and the poetries of the mimeo era by presenting a detailed analysis of Form (a Cambridge-UK magazine published in 1966) and Alcheringa (a journal published by Boston University in 1975), two exemplary gatherings that brilliantly illuminate the historical, material and social circumstances under which theory informed art (and vice-versa) in the early works of some of today’s most celebrated experimental writers.
Any day now, any minute now, the NewLights Press will be starting a new journal, a journal that will hopefully deconstruct and expand the idea of what a journal is or can be. Some ideas on the operating table: how it operates as a decentered, nomadic community. How it arranges, orders, and materializes a variety of texts, suturing together a sort textual-mechanical monstrosity. How it identifies and authorizes its contributors. How it is disseminated, dissipated, and continuously rebuilt among its readers.

The problem is, I have no idea how one is supposed to edit a journal. Oh well, I guess I’ll make it up, conjure it, carefully. I can already feel the water in my lungs.

First Idea, Random: change the title of Et Al to TIME MAGAZINE.
[…] the most accurate and concise definition of a Language poetry “group” is the consistent roster of writers who published each other in a relatively closed economy of independently produced magazines—This, Hills, Tottel’s, 100 Posters, Sun & Moon, La-Bas, Roof, Joglars, Tuumba Press, and later, critical journals like L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, Open Letter, and Temblor—these publications wrote, carried, and delivered the definition of the Language movement. The poetics of Language cannot be extracted from this inherent medium, this flow of renegade bodies in the “mimeo-revolution.” More precisely: the only way to approach Language poetry is via a close reading of the periodical—its formal characteristics and structural cohesion, how it relates texts in space-time, and the questions of distribution and editorial vision proper to the space of the little magazine. […]

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