Tag Archives: journals

A ‘Contrappasso’ against the decline in literary publishing


Theodore Ell   University of Sydney

With publishing and reading as we know them ceding ground to electronics (bookshops are closing – Florence just lost Edison and Libreria Martelli), the last thing you might expect anyone to do is found a journal for new writing.contrappasso1_frontcover_tn Last year, on the initiative of the writer Matthew Asprey, I helped to do just that. I curate the poetry, Matthew the prose. We are often told that we are brave to do this and even sometimes that we are insane, but to us it is a matter of simple necessity, indeed opportunity. To quote our founding statement, Instead of a Manifesto, “The fear of the decline of intelligent reading is so widespread that it proves what a huge audience is really there, primed and waiting for something new—publications with no particular agenda beyond helping writers and readers find each other.”

We called our publication Contrappasso Magazine, after the punishments meted out to souls in Inferno and Purgatorio: the equal, opposite and meaningful responses to the wrongs committed. The title suggests an Italian focus and the journal has already made some strong Italian connections, but its outlook is international. Continue reading

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