I'm told that Daniel G. Handler of the fake letter in the Ruminator has close ties to the 826 Valencia crowd. It should also be noted that David Sedaris's sister Amy is a regular contributor to The Believer. The phony letter, then, is in line with steady actions against the ULA over the last few years.
To list several, as a reminder:
-After the ULA's "Firecracker Awards" protest, our house publication Slush Pile being excluded from bookstores with close ties to Dave Eggers. (Such as Atomic Books in Baltimore.)
-The poorly researched 2003 Tom Bissell hatchet job on the ULA, filled with inaccuracies, which appeared in The Believer.
-The January 2004 revelation, discussed on the front page of the New York Times, that Dave Eggers had been personally attacking the ULA anonymously on Amazon.
-The bizarre Rick Moody short story about Philadelphia, "Free Library," in a 2004 issue of Ploughshares. The story includes a character modeled after me, with details about my life which could've been obtained only through investigation, or from a close source.
In 2005 the campaign against myself and the ULA has heated up, as evidenced by the steady variety of attacks on this blog. We've seen phony ULA sites, mad anonymous posts, and imitation Demi-Puppet blogs. SOMEONE has been investing a great deal of time in mocking us. The posts and fake blogs don't appear spontaneously on their own. We can postulate a person or persons behind them. Who?
Though many demi-puppet lit-bloggers hate the Underground Literary Alliance, I doubt the likes of Maud Newton and Company have the time or energy to post very much on this blog, or to create fake blogs. They're busy with their own. (Sucking up to Zadie Smith takes work!) The person behind the attacks on us has to be someone either with leisure time, or willing and able to pay to have the job done.
Dave Eggers is known to engage in vendetta behavior. One can look at his intense and successful campaign to have a 2001 Atlantic article about himself squelched. Or consider the threatening phone calls received by two individuals when a story about the matter was about to appear in "Page Six" of the New York Post. As for Mr. Moody, if he's the utter innocent he portrays himself to be, knowledgeable about little, scarcely touched by the happenings of the world, then he must be excluded from consideration. IF, however, his prominent role in the machinery of the lit-world-- steady appearances on foundation grants panels; founder of the Young Lions series; prominent PEN member and Yaddo overseer; etc.-- is NOT the result of mere accident, then he also has to be counted a suspect. Both men, after all, are very wealthy, and can pay for that which they're unwilling to do themselves.
All this is speculation-- thinking out loud. One sees a pile of shit in the middle of the highway and wonders how it got there.
There have been other recent tactics, such as the McSweeney's peace offer, or the fake Rick Moody cassette tape mailed to me from New York. Games and mischief. Some of it for fun, but some of it with more serious purpose-- to divide the ULA, derail our progress, and shut down this blog.