Yes, I’m mad
Posted January 10, 2008on:
First, you’re one of the bloodiest expensive literary magazines in English. (Although it is done weekly and has more content than, say, the London Review of Books so I’m guessing that’s why.)
Second, you have one of the crappiest website designs for lit mags out there. I have to click six million times before I actually get to the stupid archive page, and then I can’t just log in, I have to search for what I want first, and then you finally deem me worthy of access. It’s like I’m in some crappy fan made Indiana Jones parody.
Third, you make it impossible for me to avoid your pointless labyrinth by giving even limited access to general academic resource databases (that I know of and/or to which my school is subscribed) because you’re so precious and exclusive.
And now, NOW, you’ve made yourselves even more inaccessible by cutting off INSTITUTIONS from your on-line archives and restricting it to individual subscribers. Does that make any sense to anyone? Which folks from either group is likelier to need and regularly desire access to it and are pretty much guaranteed customers because, you know, they’re a part of an academic institution that would see it as pretty much obligatory to subscribe to the so-called *”leading paper in the world for literary culture”?
Or to create a potential future customer base. Who do you think comes into the library here regularly to read your paper version? Men older than my grandfather. (I’m serious, there’s a cute couple of elderly men who are in the reading room every time I’m here, with the usual pile of Foreign Policy, New York Review of Books, TLS etc.)
To add insult to injury how did the school find out? I kept nagging the information librarian who kept nagging the one in charge of subscriptions who kept nagging you. And even that didn’t work. I had reported a broken link problem before the holidays to which someone gave a delayed (server issues) but gracious reply. I informed that person of the new problem and suggested that someone should go digging around in the inbox for an overlooked e-mail or two. The next day, oh so coincidentally, the dogged information librarian e-mailed me to report the wonderful news.
I hate microform and of course I’ll be forced to print everything or scribble stuff down when I could just organise it neatly on my computer and not waste paper (and my money). Screw you. I’m going to buy my café pal a LRB gift subscription out of pure empty rage and frustration. Then I’ll take the money I was saving for your astronomically priced subscription on Bookforum and The Caribbean Review of Books. Good luck depending on that imaginary cultural elite to support you in to your twilight years.
How are you, my dear readers? I hope you’re having a lovely Thursday.
*That’s a whole different kettle of fish since your focus is so determinedly restricted to Europe plus the occasional glances over to the United States and the rare acknowledgement that there’s another continent hanging somewhere below Italy’s foot but, whatever, empty PR bluster is expected.