Monday, May 6, 2013

The Literary Corner of the Internet

C.S. Bhagya writes about how 'a number of literary journals have moved online to save on printing and distribution costs, and now flourish like never before'
Via The Sunday Guardian

But it's also true that an interested reader now would be hard-pressed to find magazines which dedicatedly tap into the pulse of contemporary writing in India – definitely not with ease – browsing through magazine stalls or the shelves of a neighborhood bookstore. Is the literary journal dying a slow but inevitable death? Hardly, scoff the growing number of journals that have been leading almost secret lives on the Internet: they have merely shifted locations. A simple Google search for names like Pratilipi, Muse India, Kritya, Pyrta, Out of Print, Almost Island,Coldnoon and The Four Quarters Magazine – all online literary journals steadily publishing new voices for several years now – reveals a profusion of multi-genre contemporary writing from across the country, just one click away.

While their print counterparts may be weighed down by restrictions placed by availability of investments, financial viability, limits of geography, marketing and distribution, online journals are more cost-effective and resolve the question of accessibility, at least, instantly.

Muse India and most other e-journals try to publish a balance of fiction, poetry, criticism and translations, indulging an occasional theme-based issue, but for journals like Kritya and Coldnoon, theme is all-pervasive. 

Editors from publishing firms scouting for talent find literary journals an obvious place to look for interesting writing precisely for their editing standards – editors from these journals are looking for good work too, and the first process of selection has already taken place.

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