Sunday, December 11, 2005

An Eye on the Entertainment Weekly

Eye takes a look at lit journals. Sort of. Lit journals, the author claims "like farm journals, but without the sex appeal...are an ultra-niche phenomenon". Really? I haven't done the math, but considering the numbr of journals online and off, compared to the overall number of Canadian magazines, I would say it's a pretty big niche. As for the future of online publications, I don't think Canada has any contenders yet. And I'm looking! We have some great magazines: Geist, Maisonneuve, Border Crossings, and some great journals, The Malahat, Descant, Grain, Prairie Fire, West Coast Line, Canadian Literature (each of which deserves its own post and will get it) but no really successful models for online journals. Danforth Review, which I just posted on below, comes closest.

For the record, Eye Magazine is a Toronto entertainment weekly doing battle with the another big entertainment weekly, Now Magazine. I'm more inclined to be a fan of Now, if only because it at least seems to review local books. This week has a review of the excellent Toronto writer, Alayna Munce, for example. I haven't read When I Was Young and In My Prime yet, but I've read quite a bit of Munce's work over the years and am already a committed fan. I didn't find a book review in Eye, but they've had a recent refit and perhaps that will change.

These weeklies can have a huge impact on local writers and sales. I'm not sure why they don't embrace this for the public service it is. Does Frank McCourt really need a review in Toronto's Now Magazine? I don't think so. But Munce does. As do many other excellent new writers coming up. Georgia Straight, in Vancouver does a great job at this--a review of Anne Fleming's new novel last week. It's a no-brainer people. Review books. Locally. End of story.

And can someone tell me how anyone could cancel Arrested Development? Joshua Ostroff handles the question with as much passion and precision as I dream of people handling poetry reviews...I can get as excited about Erin Moure as I can Buster Bluth...the moves are all there, the hook, the one liners.

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