McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Issue No.5



McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Issue No.5


San Francisco, CA


McSweeney's, Ltd.




The literary journal McSweeney’s Quarterly emphasizes the physicality of printed materials, frequently by altering the format of individual issues. On three occasions—issues 5, 6, and 11—they published multiple variant bindings. Issue 5, shown here, was published in three bindings and four dustjackets. The Ted Koppel variant shown here is a recent purchase, acquired during my online pandemic shopping spree. The variant featuring the drawing of a boy’s face on the dustjacket happens to be the very first issue I purchased in 2000. I was introduced to the title in graduate school, in the course of my work as a student library assistant in Special Collections at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which collected the title as part of its collection of Little Magazines. The bizarre drawing and its odd subtitle piqued my curiosity, as did the often postmodern, self-conscious humor found within. The tone of the magazine struck me as similar to a memoir I was coincidentally reading at the same time, which turned out to be that of the magazine’s founding editor, Dave Eggers. I became an avid fan and collector immediately.


From the collection of R. Arvid Nelsen