Tuesday, January 30, 2007

History

To know that American literature is class-based, one need only look at the three most prestigious literary journals today. The Paris Review's board consists of extremely rich and powerful people. The Believer was founded and is edited by Columbia grads. The difference between they and the n&1 crowd, the newcomers, is that the n+1ers went mostly to Harvard.

None of these entities are in any way representative of American society as a whole.

What's their relevance? We don't see them speaking out about the Paris Review CIA matter, as would be expected.

Maybe the CIA no longer exists, was merely a relic of the Cold War.

Funny though that the CIA is currently running radio ads recruiting for something called the National Clandestine Service. Does this bother anyone? Guess not.

The ULA campaign was formed as a way to get attention to good overlooked writers, who otherwise wouldn't stand a chance of recognition. It's a good cause. We know that history is with us. We know that history will condemn our opponents. (Maybe that's what worries them so.)

Who will history honor in this argument? Who does history always honor?

Stonewalling bureaucrats protective of their turf?

Or, the truth-seekers. the whistle-blowers, and the rebels?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

In Correspondence, I hath already told Ye King what need be told, quoting Acts 9:5 - or was it 26:14? (Either way, it was the proportion of Gin to Vermouth in the Martinis Karl used to drink in the 80s, back when he thought he was Jay McInerney.) Now, what is to say? The End is near. Soon Karl will be curled up in his little Room, eyes rolled up in Head, toes curled. His Feet already stinketh. Turn away. But, Remember the old Karl - the upper-middle-class Karl loitering around Grosse Pointe, slyly slobbering at the sight of Poodle Skirts. The Karl with a Song (probably a Tom Dolby one) in his Heart. Sygned, Couzin Hyrum (A Whizzer, A True Star)

Anonymous said...

Yes, Remember the Olde King. Heed not the Imposter who Followed Ye Flagge of Robley Wilson - who was, after all, an Agent when he Edited Kenyon Review before he went to Ioway. CH

Anonymous said...

Whar is Mamatas? Remember the Olde Bulletin Board, when Karl and Nick got into Ye Smackdown? Even Now, I chuckle when I think of Ye King's cohorts using Restraint to keep him from Boarding the Hound to Hoboken. Mamatas was Part of "ye Compagne" - all Greeks are. Must Needs he be Anon-Y-Mouse. Yea, King, Git It Onne!

jimmy the hyena said...

Hey Dave no use trying to change over here cuz I still want to know. Yep of course your a great guy had the misfortune to have a disturbed family what a tough break. What's the time line on that exactly Beth did herself in how soon after she accused you of plagarizing her diaries. Or while the atlantic was trying to contact her or while somebody was trying to get her to contact the atlantic? good idea doing that kids lit stuff with your brother better off keeping him close to you so he doesn't go off saying something too, if he starts acting up he can always have a tragic accident as well.

jimmy grace said...

Gosh, no personal attacks here. No siree. Potter's comments are all about the work, aren't they?

James Joyce Is the Greatest Writer... Ever said...

I don't think any of the big wigs in art are, or ever have been, representative of the public(very few in the establishment represent gangbanging rappers). That is one of the plus sides of art. The USSR tried to force socalist realism and in the end produced monotonous art. There will always be overeducated, hyper-formalist or mind numbingly experimentalist people in power in the arts.

West Coast writers had trouble fitting in with the effete Eastern intellectuals (some such as Steinbeck made eventual progress).

Hemingway and Twain had to deal with similar people, and despite their popularity, they wern't representative of the public either

n+1, The Believer, McSweeney's, et al., are pretty much irrelevant to the culture at large. These mags mostly sell to a select group and the process feeds on itself. It is not breaking out into mass society. This is not an issue to really worry about in literature so much as it is in Hollywood. The Hollywood Elites actually have relevance to the culture (the whole Mel Gibson/Passion issue evinced it).

Hollywood Elites deal in billions, literary elites look forward to government grants and teaching fellowships.

jimmy the hyena said...

You're missing the point there Mr. Joyce. It's a question of squashing dissent before it happens. The movies work more with images than with words. Images can have a subsersive effect but they can't really create an alternative mindset in the way that written works can. Anyway Hollywood is very nervous about technological changes that now threaten their hegemony and are going to do everything possible to put legislation into place to guarantee their privileges. Both in the states and abroad.

Jeff Potter said...

The hyena slips his leash. When you hang out on the street you need a good dog. They're a handful!

***

Sure, there'll always be out of touch overdogs. And pornstars.

And relevant art won't always be representative. But it will be relevant and influential. It's a strain in art. It's not the only game. Social art was last a big player in the 70's. The head-games rolled on all the while. We're just trying to bring up that strain again. Put some tension on it. Call it to attention. Where did it go? The blame isn't simply on the TV.