Founded on a shoestring in 1982, Aristos appeared in print irregularly for fifteen years. During that time, our maverick little periodical--just six pages per issue--managed to publish more than a few articles on the arts which readers found thoughtful, well-written, and provocative. Library Journal deemed it of "value . . . particularly as the point of view is unique." Magazines for Libraries observed that it was "not just a passive, idealistic publication but vigorously challenged modernist scholars and critics," and called it "a scholarly but gutsy little periodical," whose feature articles carried "more weight than those found in more substantial periodicals."
Noted individuals, too, praised Aristos. Poet-scholar Myra Cohn Livingston (1926-1996) wrote that, although her book The Child as Poet: Myth or Reality had been reviewed in the New York Times and many professional journals, ours was "such an insightful review" that she was moved to write and thank us. Finally, cultural historian Jacques Barzun told us that reading Aristos gave him "much pleasure and instruction."
In the fall of 1997, we reluctantly suspended publication in order to complete the writing of What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand, published in 2000. Last year this website carried the announcement that the suspension would be indefinite. We are now pleased to announce that our "gutsy little periodical" has at last gone online.
In What Art Is Online (a chapter-by-chapter supplement to What Art Is), as it happens, we have continued to publish the same kinds of articles Aristos readers had come to expect. Henceforth, most such articles will be published online in Aristos, now conceived as a review of the arts and the philosophy of art.
This inaugural issue contains a feature article entitled "Art and Cognition: Mimesis vs. the Avant Garde,"in which Michelle Kamhi analyzes basic philosophic contradictions that threaten to undermine an important area of current academic research. Louis Torres reviews a TNT adaptation of Jack Schaefer's Monte Walsh, premiering this month.
In order to give readers advance notice of the TNT film, we are posting this issue in two installments. Later this month, it will be expanded to include an art exhibition review and other items. Starting in February, we will inaugurate other departments--among others, The Academic Scene and Critiquing the Critics. In all areas, we intend to maintain the high standards of critical and scholarly writing that distinguished the print journal Aristos.