Katrien Bollen, Stef Craps, and Pieter Vermeulen
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 15.4 (2013).
Publication year: 2013

In their article “McSweeney’s and the Challenges of the Marketplace for Independent Publishing” Katrien Bollen, Stef Craps, and Pieter Vermeulen argue that the artistic projects of the US-American author, activist, and editor Dave Eggers are marked by a tension between the desire for independence and the demands of brand-building. The article offers a close analysis of the materiality and paratexts of one particular issue of McSweeney’s, the literary magazine of which Eggers is the founding editor. Both the content and the apologetically aggressive tone of Eggers’s editorial statements betray a deep unease with the inability to inhabit a cultural and economic position that is untainted by the compromises that publishing requires. Still, this disavowed complicity with the market in fact sustains Eggers’s editorial practice in McSweeney’s, which, in marked contrast to his explicit statements, thrives on a dynamic of commodification.