The death-by-suicide of Kevin Morissey is sad. It is also complex, and I’m not sure there is a lot to pin on VQR or Ted Genoways. But reading the Hook article about it is halting more for the operational procedures of VQR than for the details about Morissey’s death, which is speculation and arguably the sort of connect-the-dot journalism that creates its own dots.
This isn’t a disclaimer I make to extend any credit to Genoways. If I could punch one person in the nose, it’d be him. The fact that his management is more interesting than suicide really just shows how bizarre VQR’s business is.
The article is worth a read, but here’s the outline: READ MORE >
That is the first picture to come up if you Google image ‘fuck VQR.’
I have no idea if this is a dumb post or not. And I have no reason to post this, really, except that I like the idea that it will be out there on the internet as a record of VQR‘s momentary stupidity/craziness/awesomeness(?). I stole the information from the guy who runs Literary Rejections on Display, a blog that makes me feel weird.
Ok, so near the end of April, VQR made public on its blog a series of comments that submissions readers had made about certain awful stories, poems, essays in the to-read pile. Then people got mad. Feelings were hurt. Passionate speeches were made. And VQR took down the ‘hurtful’ things and replaced them with kind things. Well, the bandage didn’t work very well, so VQR took those kind things down and replaced them with a letter of apology (sort of?) from editor Ted Genoways.
This is what was originally posted on the blog:
Since I often get a laugh out of reading through some of the notes that our beleaguered readers provide for these particularly unfortunate submissions, it seems worthwhile to share them. Here are some of my favorites:
- The emotional problems of clipping fingernails. Actually the best of his submissions.
- OK, I’m just going to say it. This writing is plain ugly.
- “Soon he fitted his body into mine like a puzzle piece.” NONONONONONONONONO!
- Planet of the Apes fan-fiction! Have we no standards?
- Why does the speaker’s wife only want babies from Chinese shacks? This is the craziest poem. And the scariest. I feel like we should the call the cops on this guy. (There should be a category called “Inappropriate to Humanity.”)
- Unpublished Faulkner. Should remain unpublished.
- I can’t enumerate all the ways in which this is horrible
- This guy has either the best or the worst cover letter ever. As for the poem, barf-o.
The problem with these reader comments is that they aren’t mean enough. And they aren’t that funny, to me anyhow. The fact that VQR posted them is funny, I think.
Okay, the fingernail one makes me laugh a little. I want to read that poem/story.
I know I’m supposed to talk about small presses and online indie stuff. And it is still technically Mean Week, I guess, so I should be mean to VQR somehow. But I am bad at mean. All I really wish is that VQR would do something like this again, so hits rise. Then maybe more people would know about them, like Gawker:
And, finally: What the fuck is The Virginia Quarterly Review?
That is all.
October 17th, 2008 / 6:47 pm