I have always loved anthologies. They’re like full-length LPs and cassettes, or maybe watching an entire season of your favorite show in one sitting.
Each individual part – each story, each song, each episode – can be a powerful, moving experience.
But when they’re together, when they’re carefully crafted and arranged, the whole thing hits you with an impact so much greater than any part by itself.
We lost track of that for a while. Albums had a few good songs, but a lot of crap, too. Singles – and then individual song downloads – were the order of the day. Sitcoms and weekly dramas where everything seemed to “reset” by the end of the episode. And anthologies… well, three years ago, I kept hearing that anthologies were going to die.
That didn’t happen. Thank goodness.
There is a resurgence of musicians releasing single-track albums. The most successful television shows are written with the entire season (and even series) arc in mind. And anthologies are not only back, but exploring the risky places that longer works might fear to tread.
And so I am introducing a new semi-regular feature here at the blog: The Whole Is Greater. I am inviting the editor-anthologists of anthologies to tell us about the experience. What went into putting together the anthology? Did the vision they have change as it came together?
Think of this as the anthology-centered “Big Idea” or “My Favorite Bit” column.
And if you’re an editor – or know one – who would like to write about your favorite (current or past – as long as it’s still available!) anthology that you edited, please contact me at steven.saus at gmail and let me know.