Transcript proudly sports shorts to celebrate its 21st!
Photo: DM Vyleta
by Alexandra Büchler

Welcome to our "coming of age" issue which, for several reasons, represents a landmark in Transcript's history. Not only are we celebrating what in the life of a magazine surely amounts to a 21st birthday, but we are saying good-bye to the Editor who has seen Transcript through its infancy and teenage years. On behalf of Literature Across Frontiers and everyone who has contributed to the review and made its publication possible, I would like to thank Diarmuid Johnson, who helped launch Transcript three years ago and has been responsible for bringing out its first twenty issues. I am pleased to say that Diarmuid is not leaving Transcript altogether and will stay on as one of its Editorial Directors. Chantal Wright, whom we are welcoming as the new Editor, brings to Transcript her expertise in literary translation, children's literature and writing by immigrant authors. Like many of today's young Europeans, she is a reader very much at home in different cultural and linguistic environments.

In this issue we have adopted a slightly new format and feature the work of a young artist, something we hope to continue in the future. We also perform a double act of restitution: in the first of three mini anthologies, which will take the pulse of the contemporary European short story, we stand up for a genre dismissed by publishers but loved by writers and readers alike. We also - admittedly somewhat tongue-in-cheek - stand up for the "male gaze" in the wake of three decades of collections of women's writing.

Why is the short story worth saving? And what on earth is a male short story? Read on to find answers to these questions or simply to ponder them together with Maike Wetzel, the author of the feature essay on the "male short", and Faith Liddell, the woman behind the "save the short story" campaign in Great Britain, who praises short fiction quoting many of its 20th century masters. And, above all, enjoy the unabashedly male perspectives of our stories from the Basque Country, Bosnia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Italy and Norway.

The "Male Shorts" issue was edited by Alexandra Büchler and Chantal Wright with kind help from Roman Simic, director of the Festival of the European Short Story in Croatia.

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