Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Let Alimentum Adjust Your Attitude

The most recent issue of Alimentum: The Literature of Food (Issue 8) begins with a preface by publisher Paulette Licitra. Its beginning here is something I think many lit mags would agree with, and many readers will find encouraging in seeking out and not being afraid to explore the kind of literature being published these days. Licitra writes:

A couple of years ago someone took me aside and, in a wise-man-giveth-advice tone, told me to take "literature" out of Alimentum's subtitle.

"Literature scares people," he said.

Imagine that. Literature - the word, the idea, the stuff itself - scary. Not scary as in frightening, but as in boring. He thought literature was synonymous with snooze. As if, from this label, people would expect to find dry, bland, sleepy stuff between our covers.

Nothing's asleep between these covers. Every word is awake and raring to go.

The one thing we didn't want Alimentum to be is boring. In fact, one of our modi operandi is UNboring. Along with delightful, charming, chewing, tasty (even disturbing), and whoa and wow. And GREAT writing tops our list.

And guess what great writing is called?


Even Merriam-Webster says so:

Literature: writings in prose or verse; especially: writing having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest.

Now who wouldn't want to read something like that. Turn these pages and you'll find: literature profound and soul-searching, ironic and funny, irreverent and silly, naive and sophisticated. And sexy, too.


Buzz said...

OK, I confess. I'm the culprit. I'm the one who has given "literature" a bad name. I'm the APR of literature. As we all know, "APR" stands for "Anal Proofreader". Instead of commenting on the content of a piece, I must ruin it for everyone by nit-picking about the tiny this case, the unnecessary apostrophe in "It's beginning here..." and the misspelling of the word "thought" in the Licitra comment, "He though literature...."
So, I will commence self-flagellation using my old tattered copy of Strunk & White.

Denise said...

Thanks Buzz. I can make corrections without too much trouble - mentally, physically, or emotionally. You know, there are newer editions of Strunk & White if yours is really in such bad shape...