Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Big Trouble at Paris Review

That (as the ULA's Adam Hardin has exposed) Paris Review's Poetry Editor Richard Howard over the years has been handing out poetry awards to his former students is only a small part of their problem.

The real dilemma the rag faces is a limited talent pool to draw on in order to run and promote itself. Instead of being an anything-goes lit journal like those of the Lost Generation of the 20's (George Plimpton's original inspiration), Paris Review has chained itself to today's culturally in-bred and harmless literary aristocracy.

There is no one available anymore with Plimpton's charisma to run the journal, sympathizers like Charles McGrath bemoan! Of course not-- not among the department-store mannequins in the Ivy League temples they adore. Their day is over-- the charisma, artistic hunger, and imagination is with the underground.

The ULA can sit back and laugh at whoever PR chooses as new editor-- we know it'll be some well-groomed well-bred toady inocuous enough to meet with Robert Silvers and Company's approval-- with scarcely the thought and nary the visceral drive to make that museum relic of a publication exciting.

Remember that I met their staff when the ULA was in its infancy, when we hardly had our feet on the ground. Combined they had not the energy of their aging now-departed leader, much less of the undergrounders who stood in front of them. Since then the ULA has gotten better and stronger, with ever-growing skills at editing, writing, graphic design, p.r., and marketing. We lack only the Paris Review's reputation and money-- which is fine, because we don't want our ultimate victory to come too easily; we hope to have some competition from the powdered aristocrats, no matter how feeble.


Noah Cicero said...

If Slush Pile went out the same time as The Paris Review, made it to every store the Paris Review did and sat next to it on the shelf. it would take about a week for The ULA to surpass The Paris Review in reputation and money. But the great reputation wouldn't come from academia, it would come from normal people. It would be non-writers that loved it. And that would be the most insulting thing to the MFAers, that we don't mind normal everyday people to enjoy our literature.

Anonymous said...

I second Noah's comments, because I've read the Slush Pile and it's really an amazing publication. Steve does an incredible job of putting it together, and for those of you who don't know, he does it from public internet cafes in Thailand, where he's been living and backpacking/motorbiking for something like 7 years. Slush Pile is one of the real treasures I've found in 15+ years of doggedly following the underground press...incredible variety and quality, and total integrity. Oh, and it's actually FUN to read, too.


Anonymous said...

But then, there are no $12,000-per table National Book Retard suckfests in Thailand, right? So what could he possibly have to offer? [/sarcasm]

Anonymous said...

Publications like the Paris Review make a mockery of literature. They claim to be promoting and discovering new writers. Yet you could not hope to be published there unless your submission arrives in an envelope that's postmarked NYU, or Iowa. The grunt sitting in their mail room opening envelopes has a list in front of him. If your name isn't on the list, it goes in the trash. A "new" writer wouldn't even be read by the editors of the Paris Review, fuck published. The crap they do publish is the most formulaic hot air horse shit imaginable. It's all the same-I think they run it like Mad Libs.
"It was the first time he had been to [name of exotic country]. It was more [word that means cool, but everyone will have to look up in Webster's] than he had ever imagined. Still though, he felt dessicated." Why do they like that word so much? It just means thirsty. The pages of the Paris Review aren't worthy to wipe the asses of the ULA's writers. Most of you could eat a copy, and eighteen hours later, there would be something floating in your toilet that read better than the original product.
Bernice Mullins

Anonymous said...

Hardin exposed nothing. He may have brought it to your attention, but that's it.

We at Foetry.com have known about this for years and have been rightly raising hell about it.

Adam Hardin is a half-cocked blowhard and a buffoon, taking credit for the work of others.

He should slink a away and read some of his Neoshakespearians such as Don DeLillo and leave the real muckraking to the real writers. Surprised that the ULA would even tolerate a dilletante such as Adam Hardin with all his juvenille, uninformed bluster and his love for Thomas Pynchon and the other mandarins.