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The Life and Death of A Literary Legend
by Martin Golan

The Life and Death of A Literary Legend

Now that New York Literary Review (formerly Etheria) has ceased publication, I feel free to reveal the true story behind its life and death, a story that will surely astonish the legions of fans NYLR (formerly Etheria) attracted in its brief but dazzling moment in the literary sun.

When I was just an aspiring writer and not the literary light I'm constantly told I have become, I confronted the frustrations of getting published. As is now an oft-told tale of literary lore, it was those very difficulties that spurred me to start a magazine. It was the most inspired thing I'd ever done, far more inspired than anything I'd ever written. It was my greatest epiphany, my greatest creation - because the magazine I started, New York Literary Review (formerly Etheria), was a fanciful work of fiction. It never existed!

Yes, I know this will shock the countless literati who so embraced NYLR in its heyday. Only because I am now a major figure in the cultural landscape of America can I confess this secret without consigning myself to the slush pile for all eternity.

The idea for New York Literary Review (formerly Etheria) came when I began submitting stories and poems to magazines and was rewarded with a flood of rejections. Like every writer who ever fretted over a cover letter, I rejected out of hand the possibility that the quality of my work could be a factor. No, I thought, it had to be something much more sinister.

That's when I decided to start Etheria.

Here's how I did it: I informed writing magazines and digests and Internet sites that list places to send poetry and fiction of a new magazine. I called it Etheria, an inside joke with myself, by making up a word that appears to be an obscure back-formation of "ethereal," probably poetic, an antiquated Elizabethan orthography like "compleat" - when it's little more than a pretentious variant I invented.

 

Copyright 2007 by Martin Golan
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