Gigantic magazine


The RETURNS and the SIZZLES

The RETURNS and The SIZZLES

What Exactly Do We Aim to Get Out of All of This?

opium_live_1

photo by Lee Bob Black

On April 7, 2009, Todd Zuniga (top left) interviewed Gigantic (from left: Lincoln, James, Rozalia, Ann) for Opium Live, a fledgling arm of Todd’s Opium empire, which took place at Happy Ending in New York.

During the interview, Todd asked many thoughtful, humorous and eloquent questions. One was: “Four writers running a literary magazine. This is going to cost you either seven short stories or one novel each, at least. What were you thinking, and who’s to blame for not warning you away from such a misadventure?”

Later, he clarified (via blog comment) “Point being: is the trade-off worth it? What you’ll give up, do you expect it to be worth what you get in return.” He also mentioned that while the initial “sizzle” falls away, it does at times come “screaming back.”

The question, what do you get “in return” for starting a literary magazine is a very good and apt one because the RETURN is intangible and many people do ask, Why are you doing this? and, What on earth do you hope to get out of it?

The RETURN is not, obviously, monetary remuneration, because, well, that should be obvious to pretty much anyone. But SIZZLE cannot be the RETURN either, because that seems beside the point. Or, can it?

The RETURN, for Gigantic at least, has something to do with the appreciation of short prose and art that is inaccessible to more people than not because it is unmarketable, uncategorizable and odd and/or risky, and therefore shunned by venues that thrive on marketability and pleasingness of content. But our content is remarkable nonetheless and should not be passed over, but be accessible and enjoyed.

For the reasons stated above, there must exist alternative venues for the presentation of this work, such as the publisher Printed Matter was for artists/writers such as Kathy Acker, Sol LeWitt and Laurie Anderson in the seventies. And SIZZLE, while it is fun and exciting, also leads to awareness and thus the accomplishment of one of our, Gigantic’s, stated purposes. So SIZZLE may be extremely important after all.

And there are alternative venues we love out there already, such as Opium, Conjunctions, NOON, and elimae, which begs the question: How Is Gigantic Different from Those Other Journals?  Todd did ask us a question to that effect during the interview, but the response deserves its own post…to follow.

In the meantime, while we don’t look forward to the demise of the SIZZLE (and humbly acknowledge that FULL SIZZLE has yet to be realized), we look forward to the return of the SCREAMING SIZZLES and plan to make the most of them on their brief appearances.

We’d also like to thank Todd for hosting this series, which enables a live dialogue between identities otherwise virtual, and are thrilled to be in the company of notable former interviewees such as John Wray, Stephen Elliott and Justin Taylor.

-The Editors

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I find this interesting. I love talking about literary magazines!

Comment by Todd Zuniga

That picture is funny.

Comment by Kristen




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