Friday, October 05, 2012


Sein und Werden: Winter Issue

I have been asked to guest-edit the next (Winter) issue of Sein und Werden, a good old-fashioned small press publication that will be photocopied and stapled and will surely end up looking like something from the early 1990s.

The theme I have chosen (because I have been allowed to choose) is THE IRONIC FANTASTIC and here are the general guidelines:

I'm after fantastical/absurdist 'comedies' 1000 words or less. By 'comedies' I don't mean that they have to be funny: wistful, thoughtful and droll are fine, so are weird and quirky. I'm thinking of a broader definition of the term, in the same way that Nabokov's brilliant Laughter in the Dark is a 'comedy' but it didn't make me laugh..

As an example: the early stories of Kafka and Calvino, Bruno Schulz, Hašek, Daniil Kharms, Zamyatin, Pavić, Queneau, Bulgakov, Boris Vian, etc.

Originally I was intending only to accept submissions from the European continent, but that's a bit restrictive really: what I actually want are European flavoured stories of a literary nature.Colloquial prose doesn't impress me much, I'm afraid, nor does weepy boo-hoo, overworked characterisation or moody description. No, I want ideas! Funny ideas, absurd ideas, intelligently daft ideas! Poetry and images are more than welcome too. So are brief dramatic 'scenes'.

There's only 15K of space, so that doesn't give me a lot to work with. But if you think you have something suitable please email it as a Word attachment to the following address:

Closing date for submissions is December 20th, 2012 (which is just before the end of the world, I believe.)

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