Recently I had an email back and forth with someone running a website listing literary resources.
A question was raised about the "anonymity" of certain journals (and I'll add writers), especially online. I think it is a potentially tricky situation.
Obviously honesty is important. If you are to start a journal or resource I feel you should be honest about who you are and what your doing; but how far do we take the standardization of credentials as some kind of "proof" that what you are doing is valid?
If you send your work someplace to be published, you naturally might want to know who will be reading your work. But if the work published by that journal has quality, the journal is respected in this niche world of literary endeavor, but the journal's editors are somewhat unknown (whether in terms of credentials, or even their identity) does that mean you shouldn't list as a publication in your own credits? My impulse is to say you should put it down, but a blog post I read over at New Pages went the other way: (http://newpagesblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-anonymity.html). What do you think?
There shouldn't be a parent at the end of that web address. Try this instead: http://newpagesblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-anonymity.html
The Economist still doesn't use bylines and makes its "masthead" very difficult to find.
I recently heard that, until the 1930s, newspapers did not print bylines...
The Economist is a very respectable publication, even though it keeps itself somewhat "anonymous"! Check out their anonymous blogs!
Personally, anonymity doesn't bother me. In fact, in this age of self-promotion, it's sort of refreshing.
If the content of the journal in question is of a high quality, then I would of course list it wherever I might list my publications. If the content of the journal in question is poor, I wouldn't submit my poems there anyway.
Parts of the small press literary world are already very much like a fraternity - editors choose to publish their friends' work all of the time. It's not always a great thing, but it happens, rather unabashedly, even without the anonymity factor. I don't think anonymity necessarily promotes nepotism, tho I see how it could. But, in some instances, anonymity could help alleviate nepotism, i.e. anonymous editors may find it much easier to reject their friends' work without awkwardness.
Rejecting a friends' work if it is not right for a journal isn't being a jerk, it's being fair to writers who are better suited for a publication. It's being fair to Art. But all too often, editors (especially young, up-and-coming, small press editors) seem afraid to not accept their friends' work. This is understandable. Of course, sometimes editors accept their friends' work because they like their friends' work. The fact that the editor admires their work may be a reason why the editor is friends with that writer in the first place.
It's all very complicated, isn't it, fraught with psychologies and ethical ideas and such things, and at the end of the day I suppose I can only soldier on and keep sending my stuff out until someone, attached or unattached to a name, decides to accept a piece here, a piece there.
It seems that most readers like to know the name of the person whose work they are reading, even if they don't recognize the person's name. There's something satisfying, even natural, about imagining people based on their names and what they have written. Whether this tendency applies to journals and their editors is another question.
The thing about the Internet is that people can be named and still be anonymous. How do you even know I am who I say I am? You don't. That's just something you have to accept.
In terms of journals having editors who wish to remain anonymous, who cares? As long as the journal publishes quality work, then more power to them.
We're an online literary journal that publishes works of short, indeterminate prose and accompanying criticism. We feature one author every posting period (every two weeks). Every so often a question related to the form and function of fiction will be posted here for discussion.http://www.matchbooklitmag.com