Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

3/31/2004

Nothing Changes; or, Why Thoreau Never Started a Zine

A tiny break from the fiction side of things. Via Pseudopodium and from the essay "Antebellum literary culture and the evolution of American magazines" by Heather A. Haveman:

A new occupation--the magazinist, a term coined by Edgar Allan Poe--emerged as the practice of paying writers spread and as the idea of author as professional displaced the earlier conception of author as gentleman-scholar. By the early 1840s, the magazinist occupation had achieved considerable acceptance. Its legitimacy is evident in Horace Greeley ’s advice in 1843 to Henry David Thoreau, urging him to publish his work in mass-market magazines rather than in small-circulation periodicals...:

This is the best kind of advertisement for you. Though you may write with an angel’s pen yet your work will have no mercantile value unless you are known as an author. Emerson would be twice as well known if he had written for the magazines a little just to let common people know of his existence.

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