Wig Wag

ww cover

Wig Wag
Summer 1988 – December 1989; June 1990 – February 1991

In an archive almost everything carries the aroma of obituary. A book’s cover resembles a mausoleum door, newspapers evoke autumn leaves, a magazine’s tint becomes a mortician’s makeup. Bylines are empty chairs. In our digital realm, which seems so lively, everything passes before we’ve finished, is made to fade into the next, which is why it all gets saved.

Wig Wag is not online. The magazine lived for three years between the minor New Yorker exodus that staffed it and the first Iraq war’s recession that killed it. Founding editor Alexander Kaplen aimed gently at “A Picture of American Life,” a little literary and not too heartlandish. Wig Wag‘s “Letters From Home” could be set against The New Yorker‘s “Talk of the Town.” Terry McMillan, William Maxwell, Peter Matthiessen, Norman Rush, Sven Birkerts, Sousa Jamba, Luc Sante you’ve maybe heard of; many more you certainly haven’t. But the effort to turn from city-centrism seems more significant for its failure.

A notable tool in Wig Wag‘s kit was their “Indignites: Our monthly listing of who’s beating up on whom.” Critical briefs that don’t always read as anachronistic as we might like.

Wig wag, it was pointed out to us by poet and SVA professor Ray DiPalma, is that thing you do with flags on a runway when you’re trying to keep airplanes from crashing.

indignity

ww10

February 1991

ww9

December 1990

ww8

November 1990

ww13

November 1990

ww12

October 1990

ww11

October 1990

ww4

June 1990

ww2

November 1989

ww6

September 1990

ww5

August 1990

ww3

December 1989

ww1

Summer 1988

Advertisements

Posted on December 12, 2014, in America, Literature, Periodicals and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: