It’s the first day of a new month. Do you know what that means? It means brand new magazines. BRAND NEW MAGAZINES! I don’t subscribe to any, since I move around so much, so I have to grab them when they hit the newsstands. Last month I got Filter, Poets & Writers, Rolling Stone, and a few others.
Atonin Artaud said,
There aren’t enough magazines, or if you will, all existing magazines are useless. We are appearing because we believe we are responding to something. We are real. This excuses us from being necessary. There should be as many magazines as there are valid states of mind. The amount of printed matter would then be reduced to very little, but this little would five the abstract and total of what should be though, or what is worth publishing.
All magazines are slaves to a way of thinking and as a result they despise thought. They all have the serious defect of being edited by several people. Thus they imagine that they are reflecting a state of opinion, when they are really only a grab bag. For there is no such thing as a state of opinion, there are various opinions which are more or less worthy of being expressed. But humanity is incurable. No one will ever present people from being sure of their own thought and suspicious of someone else’s; if someone who has a valid point of view wants to give it an audience, he has no choice but to start a magazine. We have a point of view that is worth expressing. Circumstances external to the fact of thinking correctly of incorrectly prevent existing magazines for accepting this point of view in its absolute nakedness. There are no free magazines; all magazines have what amounts to a creed. Thus we are choosing the only means of being ourselves and of being ourselves totally.
We will appear when we have something to say. When we think that we have an interesting view on a false way of thinking, or when an aesthetic or moral phenomenon seems to lend itself to discussion. This magazine will therefore be a personal magazine, interesting in that it will be the creation of a single individual, but we will welcome as guests those artists and writers whose work seems to accord with out state of mine, to illustrate it, or to relate to it in some way.
I absolutely adore that quote. I used parts of it when I did a magazine project for a class last year, and if I ever start a magazine it will be the creed by which I live and write and create. I don’t think that “all existing magazines are useless”– far from it. Many are superficial and unnecessary, but many uphold Artaud’s principles and are pretty collaborative and genius.
Personally, I think magazines are just the best representation of creativity in the world. The full-color glossies are the best (is “full-color glossy” the best phrase in the English language?!) but I’d take a black and white, crappily stapled zine, too.