Monday, October 25, 2004

Democracy in Literature

When you have no opposition to a status quo, to those in power, you have no democracy. What we see in American literature is one-party rule: the Dictatorship of the Aristocrats. As with all bureaucrats there will be no withering of the state, merely an amplification of privilege. (Let's ask again: How many grants has Mr. Moody III received over the years? How many grants panels as he sat on, where he awarded money to friends? Tim Hall has pointed out that he just sat on another one.)

The local stooge demi-puppet bureaucrat defending the System on this blog, who calls himself Walton, ordains that everything is fine with the status quo. (Excuse him between pronouncements while he orders more caviar.) What Urban Hermitt writes isn't literature, in his view, no matter how much the writing moves readers, because it's not Approved. It doesn't follow the bureaucratic Rules.

All is well with the privileged literati within their Bubble World because like all aristocrats they never have to face competition on a level playing field. They'll find any excuse to avoid it. After the PARIS REVIEW store mannequins got whipped in public debate by the ULA the literati have turned down every challenge. Celebrated poet David Berman ran away from a proposed Read-Off against one of our poets, is still running. Jonathan Franzen attacks us to journalists, Dave Eggers anonymously on Amazon, but neither will confront us in on-line forums, much less in a public one, because they know they'd lose.

How great can the System's ideas (if it has any) and its writers be if it never puts them to a fair test?

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