January 11, 2002
You are no doubt aware that the publication of Aristos has been suspended for some time (our last issue was Vol. 6 No. 6, September 1997), so that Michelle Kamhi and I could complete and publicize What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand. Published in June 2000, the book has been garnering attention and praise as well as generating controversy--in often unexpected quarters--and we have been working on getting word of it out to the broadest audience possible. . . . We greatly appreciate your patience during this long hiatus.
Given the limited time and resources now at our disposal, Michelle and I have decided, after much consideration, to officially suspend publication of the journal indefinitely. . . .
I believe that Aristos could be reborn as a print journal in a format like that of The American Scholar, The New Criterion, and other periodicals published by nonprofit foundations. Such a journal could draw upon a larger pool of readers and writers, and would allow for a greater number of in-depth articles. I will not attempt such a venture, however, unless a core staff--business and production as well as editorial--can be formed, and the necessary financial backing for operational expenses (including salaries and writers' fees) can be obtained beforehand.
I founded Aristos in 1982 (the year Ayn Rand died), and am proud of the long if irregular run it had, the enjoyment it gave to subscribers, and the critical recognition it received. Jacques Barzun, for example, told us that reading Aristos gave him "much pleasure and instruction," and Magazines for Libraries called it "a scholarly but gutsy little periodical" that "vigorously challenges modernist scholars and critics." This six-page journal numbered among its subscribers some of the major university, public, and art libraries here and abroad. Finally, as you may recall, the seeds for What Art Is were sown in a series of articles on Ayn Rand's philosophy of art first published in Aristos in 1991-92. Not a bad record!
Michelle joins me in sending sincere thanks for your past interest and support.
With best wishes,
Co-Editor & Publisher
[Subscribers who did not receive a copy of this letter are asked to contact us.]