Aren't writers, journalists, and lit-mags supposed to be icons of free speech? This is myth.
I e-mailed both Agni and Harper's asking for responses to my posts of this past week. No responses have been forthcoming. Only silence. Not a peep from Birkerts, Lapham, and their staffs; these supposed advocates of open discussion. Not a whisper. They close their eyes, block their ears, and pretend not to notice anything.
Thick curtains are pulled around their offices; steel walls brought in to surround these, steel doors sealed shut with heavy padlocks. Wide swatches of tape are put over mouths of employees; bags over their heads to close off the world so their tottering empire remains safe.
I've e-mailed, written letters, asked again and again here and elsewhere for a comment from Harper's about Bissell's plagiarism. From 666 Broadway has come only silence.
I've asked New Criterion, supposed opponent to Lewis Lapham (they're really not; they're buddies), for a comment about the mysterious "Bryan F. Griffin" who wrote a controversial two-part article for Harper's in 1981, which preceded Lapham's (temporary; cosmetic?) firing. I've received silence. Bryan F. Griffin has vanished down the memory hole of history.
YOU'LL FIND that those who run the established lit world, and their demi-puppet flunkies, aren't at all champions of criticism, controversy, and discussion. They flee from it.
(p.s. Those who embrace Bissell now have wrapped themselves around a tar baby. They're stuck with the guy.)