Daniel Green makes some provocative statements about the limitations of small literary magazines:
At present the only real critical function exercised by American literary magazines is that undertaken by their editors in making decisions about what fiction and poetry they should publish. The inevitable result is precisely the sort of homogenization of literary practice one encounters in the little magazines now available. Without credible and sustained critical attention to the particulars, as well as the attendant implications, of the work being produced by contemporary writers, not only is the engaged scrutiny of contemporary literature left to the self-interested devices of academic criticism, but it becomes increasingly difficult to regard what gets published as more than just desultory exercises in â€œexpression,â€ chosen by the powers that be for entirely arbitrary reasons.
(Link via Wood S Lot.)
Green has a point, although there are exceptions and I wouldn’t be so quick to indict the online literary magazines, many of which feature exceptional writing several times a week.