Oct/Nov 2004

A Note from the Review Editor

by Kevin McGowin

Okay! It's been a busy Fall for us at Eclectica, and one that's seen quite a number of new books, some of which I've praised and some quite the opposite, but as always I've read every word of the titles I've reviewed and I stand by my statements. And wow, that ends up being quite a few, as I've covered a lot of titles in this issue—and written over 10,000 words! Yet there are still books I've received and promised to cover, and will next issue, as they're of a less time-sensitive nature: Glen Duncan, Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare and Terry Eagleton's The English Novel will all be given The Full Treatment. And Larry Johnson will join us briefly to write The Retrospective on Cormac McCarthy—on whom he's written before.

But we're going thru transitions here, as all things do, and I'm asked why we don't include more on Poetry and Film in this section. Well, because we have little time. But the last time I wrote an open letter asking for really good people to join us, we got Colleen Mondor to write on Children's Lit and other things as well. But you wanna help out, be published? Let's go, babe. 

When I write a review, I send it out to a few interested and trusted friends, to catch me in my interminable typos and such so Tom and I won't have to waste his time later (though we still do, of course), and guys, I'm grateful. Now I'm shifting that responsibility to a willing class at Birmingham Southern College, who can get extra credit for it—why not? This is argumentative writing, and Literature, and Composition, dammit!

Lol, but aside from all that, let me just say briefly what I didn't say in another issue, which is that aside from everything else that's the case with me, I'm doing a pretty good job here for a man who was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome on March 14 and basically told I wouldn't be doing much writing or talking here for a while. Well, Christ You Know It Ain't Easy, but let me say thank you to a few people who have really helped me keep going this year, in which I set out to read 100 full-length books by the end of the year, and did so by September, and write 100,000 words, and did, two sentences ago: Judith Ferster, Larry Johnson, Courtneybear, Tom Dooley and Julie King, and of course Kimberly K. Martin (when she's in the mood to Validate) but HEY—this issue of Eclectica in terms of MY part in it has been brought to you by my Uncle, Michael P. Morris, of Birmingham.

My Uncle Mike has been there for me when life was like a Bob Dylan song, and he deserves to be thanked by me in front of the 10,000 or so readers worldwide we get per month, and so I'm doing it. Mike, this issue is for YOU—and thanks! : )

~Kevin McGowin
Birmingham, 10/1/04.


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