What does the word "literary" mean to you?—inaccessible? self-indulgent? or worst of all: boring? The tradition of literature argues against this prejudice. Open any canonical classic and read it with fresh eyes; if it deserves the honor it's received, you're bound to find, perhaps to your surprise, that this "great book" is also a good book. So where the idea comes from that literature is a plodding, dull, and navel-gazing art, I couldn't say yet for sure. But I suspect the fault lies partly among teachers who break every text down into sterile symbology and psychology, partly among modern authors themselves who tiresomely report their experiences and musings without thinking of what will give pleasure to readers who do not share the author's assumption that their every passing thought is golden. (So much of the impulse to poetry today would be much better fulfilled by keeping a tumblr account.)
Here at least is one area where we could use more vigorous gatekeepers, if I am allowed to say that on the internet. The average educated reader thinks literary writing is for masochistic intellectuals because when they dip into a "literary" publication, they reasonably infer that the authors are sadists looking to connect with precisely that audience.
Our magazine, Grub Street Grackle, aims to change the scene. Over the last ten years, we have sought to publish nothing but cunning, readable prose and rich, memorable verse, and perhaps most critically, something that will make you laugh. In these last few months, we have painstakingly produced a catalog of those occasions on which we have succeeded. (May our few failures fade into the gloom of the sub-sub-librarian's lamp.)
Each of these our greatest hits has been re-released on the Grackle's website for you to take and savor. Please don't leave them hanging!