The 11/19 issue of the New York Times Book Review was devoted to "Bad Boys, Mean Girls, Revolutionaries, X Outlaws, Beautiful Losers." All the writers discussed are from the past-- most from the distant past. The hapless and conformist editors continue the grand establishment tradition of lauding literary outcasts as long as they're safely dead.
Prepster Meghan O'Rourke of Slate, an Insider icon who wouldn't know anything underground if she fell down a manhole, asks the question, "Whatever Happened to the Avant-Garde?" The scope of her essay extends all the way up to 1992! Mentioned by her as purveyors of "a do-it-yourslf ethos" and "a distaste for commercialism" are such conglomerate house pets as Mary Gaitskill, Tama Janowitz, and Dennis Cooper. Say what? The goal of all three was always and forever will remain to be commercial. Scarcely one of them had a "do-it-yourself" moment in their lives regarding their art, though I'm sure all of them give good blow jobs. (Nice to see a recent photo of Tama in Vanity Fair sporting some recent plastic surgery work.)