The Reality of Literature Today.
The ULA is more radical than the Beats dreamed of being. We examine the system of literature from top to bottom. All those moderate commentators who love lauding safe pets like hip East Village icons of the 80s and 90s (Mary G and Tama J); safely embedded themselves in institutional settings of conglomerate or academe; seek the moderately radical to celebrate; the properly safe. As with everything today, the pose is more important than the reality.
Here's the real breakdown of literature today:
This consists of the Eggers Gang and their acolytes. Throw out their progressive noises, which are done for grants and tax breaks. The aesthetic and style they push is thoroughly Thermidorean; in tone exclusive and upper-class; decadent gilded prose matching their gilded posturing-- which is why they've drawn around them the effete of the wealthy elite. (Most lit-bloggers by the way have adopted the Reactionary style. "The Smart Set": the new literary aristocracy.)
Moderates are products of the system and exist thoroughly within it, but from their cozy offices, or typing on laptops while gazing out the windows of jet-set airplanes, they give an occasional nod to dead rebels of the past; or even in their minds today imagine they might someday do something mildly rebellious themselves, though they haven't imagined yet exactly what. (Perhaps writing about 19th century Russian samizdat.) Class in this category n+1 to Meghan O'Rourke to occasional writers for Village Voice or The Nation.
The Underground Literary Alliance.