Over the years my work — stories and the occasional bit of prose — has appeared in a small number of literary journals, quarterlies and the odd sampler. I suppose I could even bind together a slender book composed of the short stories. And, eventually, I will
kill finish this damned novel.
Of course the number of constant quality magazines, quarterlies and glossy publications my work never found home with are legion. Thrice upon a time Lish’s The Quarterly nearly accepted my quirks, only, each time, to compassionately suggest I try greengrocery: “Lists, lists are your future. Revel in them!” 1
Some publications I was content to simply read, aware my mastery of their particular form would always be wanting. The WQ was such a magazine – I knew I lacked the discipline to attempt an essay worthy of publication in its pages. But that did not keep me from subscribing. 2
The last print copy of The WQ was in 2012. Since then it’s existed as an internet entity, also available via Nook, Kindle and other frivolous carriers. It didn’t fare well. The WQ just put out their Winter 2014 issue, with a note from the current editor bidding adieu. “This will be our final quarterly issue.”
This being the internet I doubt the WQ will pass that quickly. Instead the site will undoubtedly be “reimagined”, which is to say it will be dumbed down, shortened and, ultimately, become far less interesting, vital and important.
I doubt you will read news of this anywhere but here, which should tell you more about the devolution of American public discourse than you wished to know, but the WQ‘s passing is a quiet tragedy. The quarterly was worth ten, no, a hundred Kansas City Stars.
There are so few publications left one reads and think to themselves, “That’s where I’d like to be published.”
No one, absolutely no one, thinks that about the Star.
- And we’ll say naught about an urban, urbane weekly that publishes the ruminations of a Minnesota country bumpkin while sneering down its aristocratic nose at the rest of the Midwest. Yes, it WAS Garrison Keillor – what’s that got to do with the price of possums? ↩
- Or to The Quarterly and The New Yorker, for that matter. ↩