The New Trad Journal is an ongoing experiment in contemporary engagement with traditional, especially ancient, literary forms. Our premise is that the stylistic innovations of the twentieth century, whether in high modernist seriousness or postmodern irony, have exhausted themselves and given way to the empty repetition of once-radical gestures. One can hardly leaf through a literary textbook or attend a seminar without encountering the same formulations in praise of the transgressive: blurring the boundaries, disrupting the linear narrative, confounding the reader’s expectations.
It is our conviction that genuine innovation can no longer be produced out of an impulse towards rupture of existing norms, or from a desire for novelty. That moment has passed. It is, on the contrary, by vigorous encounters with its roots, both creatively and critically, that culture is refreshed. We should emphasise that we refer here not to the recent pre-modernist past, but to the ancient roots of literature. Think Lönnrot, Wagner, or Walcott’s Omeros—not James McAuley.
The New Trad is our contribution to that effort. With its inaugural issue launching in mid-late 2013 in print and digital format (i.e. a downloadable version of the journal, not pages on a website), the journal will publish two issues each year from 2014 onwards.
We are now open for submissions for our first themed issue. Or if you’d like to be involved with the project as a collaborator, or donate to the project, please get in touch via our contact form. Please follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates.