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July 2004
 
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Editorial - May 2004
by Gordon Van Gelder

WHEN I TOOK a course in German literature, Professor Corngold started off the class by saying, "This will not be a happy course." He then proceeded to give us a syllabus that bore out his claim: just scanning the titles indicated we'd have death in Venice, young Werther's sorrows, and a man without qualities.

I don't mean to suggest that all Teutonic literature is downbeat and depressing, but I do think that there are tones and qualities distinctive to the literature of different nations. (I hope all of you Comp. Lit. majors are nodding your heads in agreement.)

Unlike some of our special theme issues, this one did not start out by soliciting material to go with the theme. None of the stories in this issue were written specially for this issue. Rather, we noticed a strong American theme running through a lot of recent stories and we built the issue around them. The columns then followed.

So if you think any of the stories don't live up to the All-American theme, blame me for including them, not the writers for failing to wave the Stars & Stripes. It seems to me that you get a truer picture this way, but if you disagree, drop by our online message board and let us know.

And yes, the thought of following up with a special International issue has crossed my mindů.

—GVG

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