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Zines and How They Got There
A Long Strange Trip
with a little help from...

It's also a long strange page, and far from complete, but let's see if we can't unpack the basic premise here, which goes something like this...

The same enthusiasms that motivate the authors of Internet webzines have driven authors in other media for at least a couple thousand years. The artifacts -- and in many cases, detritus -- of this process are called "literature." Why does anybody write? To tell a story, to explore a subject, to pass along a little hard-won experience to the next wave of mystified humanity. Though they surely use different language, are Cervantes and Suck all that far removed? While you may not agree, and the very idea may make you crazy, do try it on for a minute with an open mind.

Yeah, but zines have that all-important irreverent attitude! Right. Ever read any Chaucer or Boccaccio or Rabelais? Jesse Helms would have a heart attack. Of course, these dudes didn't have to worry about the Communications Decency Act. Just being burned at the stake. If they were living now, you can bet they'd be writing e-zines.

As you browse the categories and titles below, you may protest that you've never seen anything this good on the net. Well, as AT&T was once fond of saying: you will. The barriers to publishing are falling rapidly and stuff this good is online already. You just have to hunt for it.


Table of Contents

"By and large the literature of a democracy will never exhibit the order, regularity, skill, and art characteristic of aristocratic literature; formal qualities will be neglected or actually despised. The style will often be strange, incorrect, overburdened, and loose, and almost always strong and bold. Writers will be more anxious to work quickly than to perfect details. Short works will be commoner than long books, wit than erudition, imagination than depth. There will be a rude and untutored vigor of thought with great variety and singular fecundity. Authors will strive to astonish more than to please, and to stir passions rather than to char