Real Pants hopes to stimulate enlivened conversations around literature, and to cultivate literary community online and—equally so—offline. We publish articles about literature and the backstories of books, and we believe our audience will stretch beyond writers, publishers, and MFA students to encompass a wild array of readers and thinkers. Real Pants opens its arms to everyone who wants to engage with these stories.
One way we can do this is by building an active commenting forum.
Mostly, we’re talking about books and book stuff, but we generally do this work because we love having conversations, and we want to have new ones. Indeed, we welcome the unorthodox, the unhip, the motley, and the disruption of unconsidered convention.
At the same time, we have seen many things go wrong in comment threads. But as idealistic as it sounds, we want to offer an alternative to “Don’t read the comments.” Imagine, as we do, the possibility of civil discussion online, and comment here with decency, consideration, and care.
We can’t be perfect, but we will moderate Real Pants forums to make sure the conversation is generative, well-intentioned, and open, and we reserve the right to delete comments that we deem to be spurious, derailing, or abusive—and in rare, extreme cases, we may be inclined to ban commenters.
We are not opposed to heated and intense debates. We are opposed to comments made in bad faith.
Our hope is that comments will be honest and thought-provoking, with a good sense of humor if sometimes irreverent, and sometimes provocative, and that everyone—above all those who aren’t normally heard in these kinds of discussions—will feel welcome to participate.