Disclaimer: The views expressed by the editors are not necessarily the same as those held by the editors. As for the contributors, the editors can barely figure out what they're attempting to express, so obviously their opinions are not ours either, necessarily we mean, though in some cases there are overlaps.
Any resemblance of anything or anyone herein that resembles anything or anyone therein is purely coincidental. The editors take no responsibility for resemblances. We are purely fictional.
In Alice in Wonderland, a demented and very irascible Mad Hatter hosted the tea party Alice attended. Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter may have been modeled after someone who was not an actual hat maker or “hatter”; the etymology of the term has been debated. Mad hatters in Carroll’s day, and even through the mid-Twentieth Century, in some locations, were victims of mercury poisoning. The poor, working-class hatters worked with hot solutions of mercuric nitrate, in poorly ventilated rooms. This environment caused neurological damage, resulting in such symptoms as tremors, slurred speech, irritability, and depression.
Mad Hatters’ Review, an annual online multimedia magazine welcomes writings that address psychosocial issues, the pollution of minds, hearts, bodies and nature. We also welcome purely aesthetic pieces, packed with surprising images and whimsical wordplays. The name of our annual reflects our view of the world as essentially demented and nonsensical, too frequently a nightmare or “non-dream” that needs to be exposed to the light for what it is, as well as what it is not.
However, we, as artists, can also see another side of this world by voyaging into our own unique terrifying and joyful wonderlands and sharing our visions with others.
If you're thinking of submitting, rest assured that Mad Hatters decry the standard “we want the best writings on the Internet.” We are firmly rooted in theories of relativity and we try hard not to take ourselves seriously. We want you to give us what delights you, what makes you leap and dance, what makes you cry deeply inside the core of yourself, and what you’ve revised and re-revised till it shines. Our aesthetic predilections aren’t affected by global warming.
We’re particularly interested in “edgy,” risky, gutsy, thematically broad (i.e., saying something about the world and its creatures), psychologically and philosophically sophisticated works. Black/dark humor, whimsy, wise satire, irony, magic realism and surrealism are welcome. We love humor because we need it! Traditional arc, resolution, “story” structure are beside or off the point. We look for originality, surprise, intellectual and emotional strength, lyricism and rhythm. We love writers who stretch their imaginations to the limits and challenge pedestrian notions of reality and style; we care little for categories, favoring fusions, alien creatures, and borderline personalities. We also love collaborative ventures, between/among writers, writers and artists, and among writers, visual artists, and composers.
It’s not likely that you will ever find a serious sob story of childhood nostalgia or “coming of age,” an ode to a dying grandmother, or a cute epiphany in these pages. Mad Hatters are not sentimental and they guffaw at the concept of epiphanies. Mad Hatters are zany, risky, idealistic, cynical, tragic, hysterical and edgy. They love playing in linguistic sandboxes and hurling mud pies at icons.
Mad Hatters' Review was founded by Carol Novack (RIP 1948-2011) in 2004, and came to bear forbidden fruit in Spring 2005. Now, continuing under newish management, we still aim to please - although maybe not quite as much. We strive to continue the legacy that Carol gave root to when she packed in her attorney's duffel bag for an ailing laptop and sleepless nights in New York City, then Asheville, North Carolina. You will notice that we have toned down the utterly zany layout and design, opting for a sparer, more minimalistic look; focusing more on the content than the sugar-sprinkled topping.
We continue to seek unusual work that stretches boundaries and imagination, but will look at any thoughtful, well-crafted and inspired work. The Review will continue to appear annually, however, Mad Hatters' Review Blog (soon to be relaunched) will take submissions in all categories year round, and Mad Hat Press, founded shortly before Carol's passing will be expanding with a new website and will be publishing extraordinary books. New activities are also expected from Mad Hatters' Little Mountain Retreat in Asheville, another legacy left by our dear friend Carol.
In the words of one of Carol's literary heroes, Gertrude Stein, "I rarely believe anything, because at the time of believing I am not really there to believe."
- Marc Vincenz, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief