Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Kenyon Calls?

I just finished the summer 2004 issue of Kenyon Review. I blogged about it earlier, right when I purchased it, about how its preface contained word that it will have an online submission site available on its homepage in September. Which was cool, of course. Very, very cool. I can't complain about that.

Unfortunately, that was the most excitement in that issue, at least for me. You might feel differently. I had mentioned before, it only has 3 pieces of fiction in it, and the rest of it was poetry with some essays and screenplays and translations smattered about, most of which didn't really do it for me. (Are there more poets in the world than short story writers? Scary thought.) There was an essay on Moby Dick by E.L. Doctorow that was interesting. The rest of it left me pretty cold.

I guess any magazine is going to contain some skimmable material. You can't please everybody, all of the time, or so they say. The cover was lovely. Fiction-wise, the story The Building of Quality, by C.M. Mayo, was quite enjoyable. Chaste Berry, by Maija Rhee Devine, was okay, a well woven tale, but somehow I expected more of it that I never received. The third story in the issue, unfortunately, never hooked me and so, I never got through it. (I shouldn't have to work that hard to try to enjoy something.) I liked two poems by Roger Fanning, and the rest of the magazine pretty much left me high and dry.

My feeling was that it was $10 or so that I could have spent elsewhere and gotten more bang for my buck. On the other hand, some nagging part of me thinks I should try it out as a market because I think my own stories are just as good as those. Again, though, I suppose there's no accounting for taste and maybe because I wasn't thrilled, perhaps that makes it an inappropriate market. Seek a home elsewhere? I definitely do not get the impression that my more surreal or experimental pieces would find a home there.

Again, this is my personal opinion but I wonder, where's the dark humor, where's the poignancy that I can relate to, where's the sharp incisiveness? Better luck next time, perhaps.

Thanks for reading,

LLB

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