And now for the moral of this story. Whether as a town or as a text, “Moon City” has always been an improvisation. It was, and it remains, a convenient fiction—an invention of entrepreneurs, a flight of fancy, a slap in the face of “old town” expectations, an upstart, Ozarks-style declaration. In its status as a literary-artistic annual (and as an academic small press of the same name), Moon City remains a mythic place, forever a “new town.” Like the first railroad, it citifies an early pioneer settlement, bringing in fresh blood. Moon City remains a “place” (a press, a book annual) where Ozarks history and literary-artistic culture can be both remembered and reconstructed, engaging back-and-forth with the rest (and best) of the world “out there,” bringing newcomers in, sending our own out and abroad, all interconnected—incorporated, as it were—through mutual interests in poetry, story, art, and criticism. The communities described in the beginning of this introduction find confirmation, if only symbolically so, in this conscious act of naming.
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