When Evergreen Review Jumped the Shark

Somewhere between March and April 1964, Evergreen Review jumped the shark. I am being generous as many would argue that Evergreen Review was never the same after Donald Allen relinquished his duties as editor but I will give ER the benefit of the doubt until Issue 32.

It is not just the format change to a larger glossier format, it is the shift from conservative, but culturally relevant covers to a Playboyesque cover design as well as the accompanying vaseline smeared softcore porn that dooms the magazine. That along with content that is increasingly not experimental or avant in form and style but instead exploitative of subject matter and questionable in taste.

Most obviously the cover design signals the change. The first 31 issues have a smaller format that I love as opposed to the oversized later issues but it is the difference, for example, in the images of race in featured in Issue 30 vs. Issue 68 than announce the decline of Evergreen Review most emphatically.



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