A Journal Tradition

The story of the original Scrutiny and some Christmas stuff…

I’ve been thinking about tradition a lot lately. I guess I’m just trying to make this Christmas special. Someone accused me of trying to reclaim the magic I experienced in my youth. I thought that was an astute observation, but inaccurate. What I’m hoping to instill has nothing to do with gifts or Santa. I want to create an atmosphere or simply start something that can be revisited year-to-year.

So far, I’ve made a list of movies I want to watch over the next month (e.g. Scrooged and A Nightmare Before Christmas). I want to reread Dicken’s A Christmas Carol and Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice. Okay, I may simply listen to them on audiobook while watching Netflix’s Fireplace for Your Home. But I’m going to do all of this while drinking hot cocoa in a special set of Christmas mugs. Maybe the important thing is that I want to do all of this again next year. If you’re wondering what this has to do with the journal, then let me bring it back to tradition. The original Scrutiny has an impressive history, which you can read about here. Although it was a British journal concerned mainly with literary criticism, it’s definitely worth noting that Aldous Huxley and T.S. Eliot were subscribers.

(It may also be worth noting here that this journal was not named after the British one. The name Scrutiny came to me in a dream when I first thought about creating a journal. To be honest, I thought that was just about as perfect as it gets for a publication concerned with magical realism.)

One of the traditions I’m hoping to start with Scrutiny is a subscriber-only Christmas story. Whereas I’m not sure it’ll stick, I think it’s a pretty good idea. So, sign-up for our newsletter or you’ll miss out on the journal’s new tradition.

Justin Meckes

Photo by James Giddins