The Valve “is a literary weblog dedicated to the proposition that the function of the little magazine can follow this form. We mean to foster debate and circulation of ideas in literary studies and contiguous academic areas.” All that’s up right now is John Holbo‘s introductory post, but it’s long and meaty and deserving of your attention. After a fine blast of Trilling:
From the democratic point of view, we must say that in a true democracy nothing should be done for the people. The writer who defines his audience by its limitations is indulging in the unforgivable arrogance. The writer must define his audience by its abilities, by its perfections, so far as he is gifted to conceive them. He does well, if he cannot see his right audience within immediate reach of his voice, to direct his words to his spiritual ancestors, or to posterity, or even, if need be, to a coterie. The writer serves his daemon and his subject. And the democracy that does not know that the daemon and the subject must be served is not, in any ideal sense of the word, a democracy at all.
and an encomium to the “little magazine,” he digs into the depressing subject of the publishing crisis in the humanities, and specifically the problem of too many academic monographs chasing too few readers. His prognosis is both plausible and heartening: