If you are reading this in Australia somewhere, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of The Monthly; you can't miss it; it has a garish gold cover and a picture of a stunned girl on the front (Sophie Lee I think). Or if you are lazy, broke or can't be bothered going down to the local newagency, get a free copy here.
According to its founder Morry Schwartz, The Monthly is a mag that is intended to "feel like or fills the space that the New Yorker' or Atlantic Monthly fillsl in the States. It's a general, intelligent magazine. It doesn't pretend to be anything other. "intelligent and inquisitive, witty and wise. It won’t dumb down or suck up. The Monthly will be rooted in simple but powerful storytelling. It won’t moan, or earbash, or take itself too seriously. The Monthly will give space to long essays and thoughtful reviews, to investigative journalism and zingy reportage, to bold photography and a brash design. It won’t get bogged down in bloated columns by boring hacks. The Monthly will be human."
Them's some pretty big promises, (zingy!). So is it all that? I'll tell you what I think later in the week. In the mean time, go and get yourself a copy, read it, (or flick through it) and tell me what you think.
But is an intriguing time to launch a new magazine, particularly one of this genre. As Mungo Mc Callum points out in his featured essay- From Nation to Now- the history of Australian publishing is littered with well-intentioned attempts to create an independent highbrow title – The National Times, The Independent Monthly, The Eye, The Republican, The Unicorn – so it is interesting that someone would go again, particularly when Mag readership levels are on the decline.