31 March - “A Howling Forum": Ted Solotaroff and the New American Review
Department of English
Dr Tim Groenland
Wednesday 31 March, 3-4 pm
Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUtdu6opj0sGNcer8Gek4lBWngHsLs349xB
New American Review was first published by New American Library in 1967 with the aim, in the words of its editor Ted Solotaroff (1928-2008), of finding “a footing between the traditional culture and the counterculture.” The magazine continued, with two changes in publisher, until 1977. While the magazine was relatively short-lived, its timing and influence have led at least one current editor to describe it as “the greatest American literary magazine ever”; its roster of fiction, for example, included extracts from Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint and Doctorow’s Ragtime as well as works by Grace Paley, Cynthia Ozick, and Ralph Ellison. Solotaroff would later note that “the market for serious writing cracked open in the Sixties and soon became a kind of howling forum where all manners of ideas, styles, and standards contended for attention.” A confluence of factors such as mass college enrolments and the paperback revolution made it possible to publish a hybrid publication, a “little magazine with a big audience,” that made Solotaroff a key literary gatekeeper during a decade of immense political and cultural upheaval.
This paper will discuss the conditions that enabled the NAR’s initial success and slow decline. Tim Groenland is a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of English at University College Cork, where he is researching the history of the New American Review. His first book, The Art of Editing: Raymond Carver and David Foster Wallace, was published in 2019 by Bloomsbury Academic. His writing has appeared in Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, The Irish Journal of American Studies, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Dublin Review of Books, and elsewhere.