The Anvil Review started as an experiment. How do we, as anarchists*, engage with the world outside of ourselves. How do we present ourselves to the world or engage with the world’s presentation of us. We started The Anvil Review to address this broad question of engagement through the form of the review essay.
The death of print hasn’t killed people’s interest in watching the outside world. It has just added another layer between the windows and the world worth watching. As a result we no longer judge what we see on its merits but on the qualities of the glass between. Does it entertain? Is it beautiful? Are
Welcome to the second issue of The Anvil Review, a collection of review essays about popular culture, literature, and radical material. Popular culture seems to insist that each of us takes positions all the time, pro or con, yes or no, either/or. Most of these are choices between two equally stupid options. Wrap yourself in
Print is dead. The paper you are holding in your hand does not exist. It is not economically feasible. The demographic of print readership is older and heading north. As a result, this paper does not hold the presumption of the possibility of a successful enterprise. It is not capable of anything beyond what has
We are those who think about, write about, and are involved with this world. We suffer the fate of writers. We have lived too much of our lives in books. We desire worlds that we know are possible and yet are out of reach. We are observers of this world.
But we are also participants in the contestation of this era. We are not satisfied with simple solutions to the large problems of this world or with its discontents. We live lives, freely chosen, of contestation and The Anvil is a record of that choice.
1. What is civil conversation?
The fact that this has to be stated explicitly speaks to the way in which "new media" is actually bad media for many people. Something to avoid rather than to participate in. Radical content attracts people who are marginal and that is a pleasure and a curse. A curse because every attempt at having a certain kind of conversation (in this context we will call it a building-idea kind) can be disrupted by nonsense. A pleasure because the place where people are starting the conversations can be enlightening.
We are starting a high quality review site for writings by anarchists (explicit and implicit). We hope to critically review content spread across popular culture, literature, anarchist publishing, and everywhere our reviewers desire. The site will be called The Anvil, be hosted here, and will launch at the end of January 2010. If the site goes well we hope to decant a print (newsprint) version of the best of the site every few months.