we who are about to die

3 Obituaries: Elimae, WWAATD, Online Lit

elimae (1996-2010) was eliminated from this world due to fatal complications resulting from a malfunction in its bullshit detector. Efforts to resuscitate the detector failed; insiders who wish to remain anonymous told us, “The detector was just too delicately calibrated to be saved. It was the only thing keeping the magazine from publishing truly random word salad bullshit.” Sources concur that the detector was the secret weapon that allowed editors Cooper Renner and Kim Chinquee to respond to submissions within a week, usually much sooner. “No human acting alone can sift such gems out of so much masturbatory bullshit that quickly,” said an industry insider. As-yet-unconfirmed rumors report that the cause of the malfunction was a $1.2M re-engineering project that would have enabled the detector to reject realism-oriented writers who were even just thinking about submitting to the esteemed journal. Details continue to come to light.


We Who Are About to Die (March 2010-October 2010) just did. The group lit blog was fatally shot by the internet police while attempting to carry out a large-scale but covert fratricide and patricide on other group lit blogs, including but not limited to HTML Giant, The Rumpus, and Montevidayo. The internet cops involved in the operation seemed disoriented and unable to verbalize exactly what went down, but one made a valiant attempt: “It said it wanted all these things to go away or stop, but it, itself, was or did all those very same things, and it admitted that kind of, but still.” Another cop added, “You gotta just own it, you know? If you just own it, these things wouldn’t happen.” An autopsy revealed that had the gunfire not killed the blog, it would have indeed died soon enough. The coroner’s report elaborated, “The blog’s acronym was found to be malformed, or, in layman’s terms, really annoying. Plus, nobody could ever diagnose what those prank calls were about.” None of the intended targets of WWAWAATWD’s killing spree were injured in the slightest, even symbolically.


Online lit journals in general (1996-2010) met a tragic end in an apparent case of criminal neglect on the part of everyone who wasn’t in the current issue of one of them or planning to submit very soon. The exact time of death is unknown; at first, many writers just figured the new issues were just a little late going live, and nobody else noticed for as much as a month. The death was a shock to many who had long predicted the demise of print publications. “It seems like just yesterday that I was looking at online proofs for four different journals that I was supposed to be in. And now all my last-minute revisions will never find their audience.” said one mourner. More philosophically, a source who claims to be a “veteran” of what he calls “the scene,” noted, “I guess nobody reads online journals, either. People would “like” it on facebook if you linked to a journal you’re in, but maybe they weren’t clicking on the links. I probably have enough online cred already anyway. But I will miss being solicited.” 12 of the source’s friends “liked” this comment.

Some argue for classifying the death an accidental mass suicide. Some editors simply forgot to put up new issues; others report intending to get to it after actually working on their writing for a change. “Everyone got so carried away with encouraging people to buy from small presses that nobody remembered to look at all the free shit online,” charged an anonymous source. The survivors of the deceased request money in lieu of flowers.

Mean / 41 Comments
October 26th, 2010 / 9:29 am

At We Who Are About to Die, Daniel Nester has compiled 13 lessons about doing a book (writing, promoting, etc). Really worthwhile stuff, from the funny “Don’t read more than 15 minutes [at a reading]. Any longer than that is a hostage situation.” to a point that I needed to hear at this exact moment: “Remember the times you were writing the book and had rushes of joy from putting words and sentences together. “

Daniel Nester has created a group lit etc. blog, We Who Are About to Die. Contributors include Melissa Broder, Nate Pritts, Michael Schiavo and others. Check it out.