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.