The Mission of the Monadnock Review

For many years, I have sought out the kinds of "thought, sight and sound" that Ayn Rand alludes to in her description of Monadnock Valley. While I started with the music she mentions (Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff), I have found the spirit of joy and reason and meaning in diverse ages and cultures, both in the search for wisdom and in every form of art — from Aristotle to Emerson to Nietzsche to contemporary thinkers, and from Sappho to the medieval troubadours to artists of our day. The cumulative presence of these creations in my life has given me inspiration, joy, and, yes, even "the courage to face a lifetime".

You know the excitement of finding thoughts and sights and sounds from other times that inspire you in the here and now. But there is a greater excitement: finding that experience in the art and ideas of your own time — discovering something new, knowing that the creator of those inspiring thoughts and images is yet alive as you are, looking forward to more works brought into reality by that person's hands and mind.

While I'm always searching for new thinkers and artists I can get excited about, it can be difficult to find them. I know it would be easier to do so if there were one central meeting place — one "watering hole for the spirit" — where I knew they would be. Since May 1997, I have been working to build that place — a place to rest, to refuel, to reflect on life — a "Monadnock Valley of the mind", if you will. The vehicle I settled on is not a physical location, but a webzine named the Monadnock Review. My ambition is, echoing Emerson, "to draw all fancies to this spot".

If you look up 'monadnock' in the dictionary, you will find (after the eponymous mountain in New Hampshire) something like the following definition: "Geol. A single remnant of a former highland; a mountain or rocky mass that has resisted erosion and stands isolated in an essentially level area." I see the Monadnock Review as just such a remnant — a remnant of joy and reason and meaning that has resisted the erosion recently witnessed in philosophy and the arts — yet a remnant not resigned to fate in its last days, but confident in the rightness of its cause and in the eventual, perhaps imminent, return of its values.

Much as members of the American Renaissance like Emerson and Thoreau found inspiration in the solitary beauty of Mount Monadnock, we here at the Monadnock Review seek our own heights in life and art. We then use all the craft at our disposal to communicate the resulting insights and thus do our part to help bring about the freedom and creativity of a modern renaissance — and not coincidentally have a hell of a lot of fun along the way!