Harper's Bazaar March 2016 - Page 204

HOT LIST Bazaar Anjum Hasan WRITER AND EDITOR We are writing more, publishing more, promoting more, but not necessarily reading more. I’m not evangelical about reading; to have to preach its virtues means we already have a problem on our hands. But we do need more spaces in which to have conversations about literature beyond the noise of the publicity machine, and the little magazine could be one such forum. Practically the whole body of modern Indian literature took life, over the 20th century, as a magazine literature. I like the idea—a publication that does not depend on big names for its circulation but can perhaps create some big names of its own. And you’d read it not just for a sense of one or another writer but for a feel of a literary culture. Yet it could be homespun and idiosyncratic. I once met a poet from the north of Sweden who ran a literary magazine. When I asked him why, he said it’s very cold up there in the winters and there’s nothing much to do. That seems to me as good a reason as any to get going. So here’s a change I’d like to see: The springing up of well-curated little magazines, each with a strong editorial stamp. 204