Literêre tydskrifte vs die internet

Pleiades

Pleiades

‘n Onlangse statistiek wat ek onder oë gekry het, is dat daar na skatting 2,100 digbundels per jaar in die VSA verskyn; weliswaar met klein oplae in die meeste gevalle, maar liewe hemel, wat ‘n produksie! Dit spreek dus vanself dat literêre tydskryfte en – joernale ‘n sleutelrol het om te speel in die verbreding en promovering van hierdie uiters indrukwekkende produksie. 

Daarom dat Anis Shivani op Huffington Post ‘n hele aantal redakteurs van genoemde tydskrifte genader het met vrae spesifiek oor die belangrikheid van gedrukte media versus die elektroniese media. Hy formuleer die opdrag soos volg: “Literary journals are one of America’s most precious institutions. Emerging writers typically make their mark first in the literary journals. Unlike commercial publishers, literary journals tend to push the boundaries of writing, and don’t get as carried away by literary fashions. Their long perspective is indispensable in maintaining a necessary balance. We have more of them in this country than probably the rest of the world combined. Some of them have maintained stellar reputations for decades, while new ones, adventurous and refreshing, crop up every day. But how are the literary journals faring amidst the rise of the Internet? Are they suffering from the current cost-cutting mania in higher education? Can this venerable American literary institution survive – or even thrive – despite new technologies?”

Hieronder volg enkele reaksies:

“The internet is an efficient conveyer of words and is, of course, incredibly useful for information-gathering or skimming or sampling. But it’s also efficient at distraction, and therefore not the best backdrop for reading longer works, literary works, or any writing that attempts to remove the reader to a different space altogether. Print, or offline e-books, are better for the type of writing that has nothing to do with efficiency or information gathering, and that requires a longer attention span than most people can sustain on the internet.” (Carolyn Kuebler, New England Review)

“There are many, many, many thousands of writers in the U.S., all eager to see their poetry, prose, and nonfiction appear in the prestigious and semi-permanent form of print rather than in the fluid, amorphous, still-to-be rationalized world of online publication. There are fewer, but still a number, of people who prefer the reading experience made possible by paper and print.” (Jonathan Freedman, Michigan Quarterly Review)

“The fact that online publications tend to be free and immediately available gives them something of a competitive edge over print journals, but that’s offset somewhat by the latter’s historical prestige and/or tactile pleasure. I think the larger challenge the Internet poses is the same as that posed by the advent of desktop publishing: diffusion. As more people put out literary publications – and the Internet makes this even easier, since online magazines don’t need to secure distribution – it becomes increasingly difficult to capture the attention of an audience that’s naturally limited in size. I don’t think the Internet shrinks or grows that audience significantly, it just spreads it even thinner. ” (Wayne Miller, Pleiades)

In Suid-Afrika sit ons natuurlik met die ongelukkige situasie dat daar bykans geen literêre tydskrifte bestaan wat effektief buite die akademiese sfeer funksioneer nie … Die gevolg hiervan is dat lede van die breë publiek wat wél ‘n passie vir, en belangstelling in, die digkuns het, selde indien ooit toegang kry tot gesaghebbende artikels en/of besprekings van hoë akademiese standaard. En dan praat ons nie eens van die beperkte publikasiegeleenthede vir jonger, meer innoverende stemme wat agterweë bly nie …

Daarom, ten spyte daarvan dat ‘n mens wel die belangrikheid van literêre tydskrifte, soos hierbo uiteengesit, wil onderstreep, bly die realiteit egter in ons eie situasie van so ‘n aard dat die internet ‘n uiters bruikbare alternatief bied. Mits daar natuurlik ook deurentyd gestreef word na ‘n balans tussen die informele en meer formele aspekte van die letterkunde; meer spesifiek die digkuns soos dit in ons geval is.

Of wat praat ek nou?! (Lees gerus ook die verbandhoudende berig wat op De Contrabas verskyn het.)

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Mmm, en dan wil dit voorkom asof die staking van staatsamptenare veel wyer kring as net die staatsdiens; sedert gister het daar byvoorbeeld net één bydrae op die webblad bygekom en dit is Andries Bezuidenhout wat vertel van die “Oopmond”-geleentheid wat verlede Saterdagaand by die Steak & Ale in Lyttelton plaasgevind het.

Gebruik dus die tyd om in te haal op al jou agterstallige leeswerk.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

 

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