Jul 102012
 

Numéro Cinq went dark for a day and a half two weeks ago, a startling reminder of how ephemeral are the passages of light and electrons that make this package work. Coincidentally, something similar happened at 3:AM Magazine and here editor Andrew Gallix tells the story.

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Whatever happened to 3:AM magazine?

When the 3:AM website suddenly vanished last week, the might of social media helped track down the person who could switch the server back on. But what are the implications for online magazines?

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I concluded my last contribution to this site with a quotation from Maurice Blanchot: “Literature is going toward itself, toward its essence, which is disappearance”. Little did I know that 3:AM Magazine – the literary webzine I had edited with a group of friends for more than a decade – would shortly after vanish suddenly into cyberspace. Whether it was going toward its essence is a moot point, which falls outside of our present remit.

When I am not running late, I often check the website, along with my email, before setting off for work. The last time I performed this routine, I sat, for what seemed like ages, staring, bleary-eyed, at an empty page that obstinately refused to load. Blogger’s block, as I like to call it, is a less heroic, technological version of l’angoisse de la page blanche: the agony experienced by writers in front of a blank page. The only sign of activity came from the little dotted line going round and round in vicious circles like Sisyphus’s boulder or – rather fittingly in this instance – nobody’s business. With hindsight, I realise it should have put me in mind of the proverbial dotted line on which dodgy contracts are carelessly signed.

— Andrew Gallix via Whatever happened to 3:AM magazine? | Books | guardian.co.uk.

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