[26.9.05] [Andrew Gallix]
TRADING IN CHRONIC MYOPIA FOR ACUTE ASTIGMATISM
An interview with Sarah Lomax and Benjamin Ware, the editors of new British literary journal Dreams That Money Can Buy:
3:AM: Why did you choose the title of a Hans Richter film as the name of a new journal?
DTMCB: We have both been interested -- in various diverse capacities -- in Surrealist art and literature for some time. Richter's own political take is also an interesting one, which I believe sums up some of the deeply ingrained contradictions of the avant-garde aesthetic movement as a whole. Thus it kinda made sense: the blank canvas which allows for a dialogue to emerge from a myriad of conflicting voices. There is no rigorous ideological agenda as such with the journal -- we just act out of instinct and print the stuff we like.
3:AM: Why a paper magazine and not a webzine which would be cheaper (even though you have a website)?
DTMCB: I guess we liked the idea of producing a document/an artifact (whatever you wish to call it)... something that people could read, keep, file on their bookshelves, and return to as a reference point. A collector's item, perhaps? Much in the manner of those magazines on Knitting or World War II, which start off at an offer price of 99p (plus a free gift) then build into a complete set. The only difference is, I'd like to think DTMCB conferred a tad more 'cultural kudos' upon the poor bloke buying it, who is desperately tryin' to impress the nubile brunette on his MA cultural theory course. You could say we are in the business of providing a service.
3:AM: How did the Arts Council funding come about?
DTMCB: We approached them with an initial idea: a quartely journal to run in parallel with our already-established DTMCB live events, and proceeded from there. They were kind to us; and I know it's not really in keeping with the Western tradition, but we delivered on all our promises, so everyone was happy.
3:AM: The preface to the first issue is very political. Do you think DTMCB will change things?
DTMCB: It will certainly make a few people's pockets 6 pounds (or 9 dollars) lighter... I guess that's all for now. Grand ambition is the preserve of those for whom chronic myopia is only ever traded in for acute astigmatism. Our aim through the writing and the writers we employ is simply to raise questions... I think this is what gets people to slowly start opening their eyes, and acting with, at least, some modicum of politico-cultural fervor.
3:AM: The first issue focuses mainly on poetry/lyrics and art rather than fiction: is this always going to be the case?
DTMCBNo, as I said, there is no rigid agenda. Issue #2 is different entirely from issue #1, in that there is perhaps more prose than poetry: it features some great pieces from the likes of Ron Butlin, Vic Godard, Sophie Woolley and Eugene Mirman, all of which are kinda short stories. Issue #3 may be different again... it's an organic process.
3:AM: How did you select the contributors (Billy Childish, Sexton Ming et al)? I notice that many are already established names in spite of their outsider status...
DTMCB: Yes, I think the friends' and philosophers' biog. section at the front really sums things up. They were people we knew, had worked with, or simply respected in terms of their literary and/or artistic output. They were also, we believed, writers and artists strong enough to provide a solid framework within which we could go on to introduce new and less experienced writers. I think the dynamic worked extremely well, and has continued to do so into issue #2. We don't really fetishise the concept of the outsider, and all its existential baggage -- I think we just respect solid writing and brave thought. I don't really think you can ask for much more.