Thursday, July 14, 2005

Our Philadelphia Goal

Big show Saturday!

I've been reluctant until now to stage an event in this city, because it's so locked-down tops-down controlled, in the lit sphere, from New York City.

The opinion makers in this town, by and large, are from upper-middle class Ivy League backgrounds. The shrewdest move McSweeney's made was to target from the outset exactly this audience-- knowing the students reading their rag at Princeton or Penn, relating to its narrow and precious viewpoint, would soon be in jobs throughout the East Coast print media. In the long run, this is a losing strategy-- if one's goal is to bring literature back to the masses, as the Underground Literary Alliance is doing. In the short run it has its benefits-- though eventually those opinion makers will have to see that precious McSweeney's and its imitators has topped out and can go no further.

For the opinion makers, real undergrounders like Jack Saunders and Michael Grover, from the hinterlands and streets of this country, are outside their experience. It's not the opinion-makers fault, of course, for not seeing things clearly-- which is why we HAVE reached out to them, time and again. We invite them to see our show Saturday, to see that the lit underground is for real, the future of literature in this country. Seeing is believing.

I still get many people telling me they were at KGB in 2001 the historic Sunday night we crashed a reading. Far more people have claimed to be there than could ever fit into the place.

Regarding this Saturday: Who will be there? We should keep track not of who's there, but who isn't! Missing the event will be their mistake.

Our goal in Philadelphia is to present the real literature of this city, this country-- not the fake kind imposed from on high by Manhattan-based media monopolies. This is why we've invited Philadelphia novelist Lawrence Richette to our Friday afternoon meeting. Richette is a serious, adult novelist addressing large themes-- creating LASTING literature, as opposed to the trivial ice-cream-flavor-of-the-moment represented by Jennifer Weiner and company, safe trendy monopoly-approved novelists who are given oceans of undeserved hype.

The ULA is not and has never been about playing it safe-- despite what some may think.

Who is Erik Bader? Depicted here, he's one of several talented Philadelphia writers who've generously agreed to participate in our historic reading. There will be a smorgasboard of great literary talent on display. (I'll try to post the full order of readers tomorrow.) LITERATURE-- nothing else-- is our concern and our priority.

p.s. Let's remember that the focus of our meeting tomorrow will be Jack Saunders, Lawrence Richette, and the rebirth of authentic literature in this city.

Erik Bader
Originally uploaded by King Wenclas.


Jeff Potter said...

The CATAZEENS are on their way to the ULA Philly Shows!

My printer got a dozen copies made early and Next-Day'ed them to Jack'n'Pat's hotel in Philly.

The OYB Catazeen is a unique 82-page combo catalog-zeen, with articles, ads and lots of book'n'product listings. --Including 14 pages for the ULA and the NEW ULA PRESS!

It's going out to thousands of bookstores, sportshops, subscribers, and customers nationwide in the next few weeks.

I haven't seen 'em yet but the printer says they look good. Full color covers and web-press B&W interior. Fingers crossed!

It also presents the outdoor sport titles of OYB PRESS and the philosophical works of FIFTH WAY PRESS, along with 3 music CDs on the OYB label---plus a bunch of OYB-themed bumperstickers and drygoods like OYB tshirts, hats and bags with wild logos.

Thus several major interrelated bases are covered. How they're interrelated is for you to find out!

200+ retailers already sell OYB titles---this wide-ranging presentation offers "something for everyone" and will catch the attention of tradebook-buyers. It's surely among the wildest book catalogs they've ever seen. Staffers have always enjoyed OYB zeen issues---this new catazeen (issue #10) will catch their eye far better than the usual piles of publisher catalogs.

Anyway, those who attend the ULA's Philly events get to see them first! Have fun!

King Wenclas said...

This puts the lie to those who have been knocking the ULA, Jeff. I think what you're doing is fantastic-- a huge step forward for the ULA, as, of course, is Pat Simonelli's Jack Saunders LitVision book. Oh ye of little faith! Get a clue please. The ULA is moving.