Friday, December 12, 2008

Annual Ranking of Literary Magazines

Every year, Perpetual Folly ranks literary magazines based on the number of Pushcart Prizes awarded. Ploughshares tops the list this year. My favorite is The Paris Review, which placed 4th. As long as it keeps publishing the wonderful author interviews included in each issue, I'll always be a loyal subscriber of The Paris Review.

For example, this gem is from a recently published interview of Leonard Michaels:
Some of the one-paragraph stories I wrote before the novel took weeks of revision. I’d go mad with concern over semicolons. Conjunctions ruined my sleep. I wanted no needless sound in my sentences. I hated to use adverbs because of the “ly” endings. They seemed like sloopy trailers. They made the sense mushy and weak and artificial. I didn’t want to mean anything beyond what could inhere in the particular limited aural sensation. Idea and sound had to be exactly the same length, or the same density, as if a word could be flesh. That used to be my idea of real writing. Sculptural.

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