Two round numbers
In the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy, Tom Beller reflects on Open City and "a literary magazine's strange relationship to time":
Why did we close? We decided to close the magazine the way Hemingway described bankruptcy—gradually, then all at once. Our last issue was so good, I thought, and the party for it was so good. Why stop? On the other hand, why not go out in top form, when everyone is still in a good mood?
We will keep the books going. Books are much less capital intensive. Also, as Fran Lebowitz has pointed out, a magazine has to keep being published. Books come out at their own pace (or, in the case of Fran, they don’t come out).
Now we have arrived at two round numbers: issue number thirty. Year number twenty. We’d often been referred to as a literary quarterly, and over the years have participated in a kind of soft obfuscation—about our circulation, about how often we published. To have these bold round numbers, 20 and 30, seemed almost funny in their plain truth.