Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Bull, the men's fiction quarterly, is midway through its second year of publication. It's a milestone worth notice.  Few literary outlets have dedicated themselves to the personal accounts of men.  The ones that do never seem to last. The most recent, Ring Fire Voices, was discontinued two years ago.

Solid fiction and essays still find their way into popular mens monthlies, but are often tied to the finites of pop culture.  That's logical and expected. Playing off the news and entertainment cycle is the best way to find common interests among a general audience.

Still, there's balance to be had in the digital age, where information overload brings us closer to everything but ourselves and our immediate universe. Not since Men's Vogue's "The Examined Life" has a men's periodical feature found its way through reliving individual journeys. Like The Sun's Readers Write, in which writers "address subjects on which they're the only authorities," The Examined Life found both life in fresh exceptions and familiarity in the universals of a single individual experience. 

Bull doesn't chase exceptions or universals, opting instead to just tell the story. Characters, preoccupied with what's right in front of them, stumble upon both by happenstance.  Whatever image they present to the outside world is balanced or reinforced by what goes on in their heads. And so, the narratives read like an honest conversation between two sides of the same person. It's fiction more concerened with the everyday throws of reality than its ambitions or discontents.

Check out Bull.
Read the interview with editor Jarrett Harley at Luna Park.