Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Inside Tip

WE'LL see coming up whether the New York publishing world any longer contains even an ounce of brains; whether those N.Y. insiders-- Gawker or whoever-- who still read this blog know how to spot and jump on opportunity. After all, the Choire Sichas, Maud Newtons, and Elizabeth Spiers of the Magic Island are nothing if not opportunists, and I'm giving here, if not the scoop of a lifetime, the opportunity of 2008.

I've just received and read Philly writer Lawrence Richette's latest novel, Private Screenings, published through Xlibris. Richette has always been that rarest of beings today, a competent novelist, but now he's outdone himself and written a great one. Perhaps the stress of his recent life (Philly people know what I mean) has opened the floodgates on his talent and bumped it to another level. I don't know the why, wherefores, or whatevers. I just know his new book is a terrific read. It's the best novel of this decade. Yes, believe it. That it was published through Xlibris, that it had to be published through Xlibris, makes it a bigger story.

I'll be reviewing the book on more than one blog simultaneously in a few weeks-- which leaves others (agents, reviewers, publishers) time to get quickly in step with what's happening: the full emergence of a major American writer.

11 comments:

FDW said...

Had to be published by Xlibris Press?
Could have been published by the ULA Press, in fact it was offered novelist Richette a number of times.
Sometimes people get stuck in a rut because it makes them feel more secure.
Talent is not necessarily an indication of common sense.

King said...

??? I was after Jeff for a couple years to publish Richette-- (and Jessica as well)-- but he had LR far down his list.
(At this stage, Larry should hold out for a million bucks-- but then, we all should.)

King said...

p.s. Richette supposedly has an agent. The person must be an idiot. One of the things wrong with publishing today is that editors allow agents to do their decision-making. (No Maxwell Perkinses. Sorry.) If all agents are anything like the "Miss Snark" who was blogging, it's bad scene. She was completely hostile to writers-- the people she was supposed to be working for; this loathsome parasite. Wanted them to kiss her behind. She exhibited no signs of love of literature, was merely an officious bureaucrat. An officious ass.
But then, look at the hostilityt shown toward Ray Carver, a "giant." His editors took entire chunks out of his work; reducing paragraphs to a phrase. Sadism.
p.p.s.
The alternative, needless to say, is to create an alternative to the publishing giants, which is what we've been trying. To accomplish anything, however, there needs to be at least a minimal understanding of p.r.-- books DON'T sell themselves; and you need a publisher who doesn't cede all control unto himself.
These are issues I don't wish to go into here, so I suggest we drop it. I've said, oh, only about a dozen times that I need a break from the ULA. I had asked to be allowed to take it. Doesn't look possible. . . .

FDW said...

"List. Oh,list!"
I never, niether did most ULA members, see any list of Jeff's-- but then that does not mean there wasn't any but only that the ULA "politbureau" was privy to it.
In the days of Soviet style management?
Perhaps too there was hesitation to bump Richette up the line because he repeatedly refused to join the ULA as a member probably as he thought it would be bad for his image and threaten his hopes-- really not any different than many of the other underground writers that felt they were somehow entitled to instant success and homage without earning it by cooperation and team work-- of getting published in the system of Xlibris is the most extreme example which actually hurts a writer as most reviewers and publishers will not look at a work once it's been printed by a "house" like pay-to-play.
Understandable but let's get the record straight.
Lastly the culture in the ULA is now more egalitarian and as you say in a previous post "without a leader" . There's reliance on alliance, in your stead.
So, thank you for that.

FDW said...

This is not about the ULA by the way, but getting the facts straight,
and you know me as you've said, I'm too much of a "purist", so nothing personal.
I'm not going to let you or anybodyelse use the ULA to reinforce agendas or denial to what ever end-- you're the one who dropped out but will use "leverage" to stay in under your own terms when feel it serves you.
Understandable and fine especially since you probably in the big picture have everybody's benefit in mind-- but in your mind, see!
Otherwise where I'm CONCERNED
"no body gets away with anything."

King said...

But Frank, the fact is that Larry was never officially invited to join the ULA. I mentioned him a few times-- but we weren't getting the people ahead of him in line going! As we know.
And frankly, I was never sure we would be a good fit for LR. I never could understand why he wasn't with a major house-- he's not a real anarchist-style undergrounder like the rest of us. I still can't understand why he's not picked up by the mainstream.
I've had my differences with Larry-- his argument with MK at the Underground didn't exactly endear him to me-- BUT, there's no denying his talent. I tend to be objective where writing talent is concerned.
Anyway, we should be celebrating Larry's book.
p.s. Yes, let's get the facts straight.
In that interest:
Pat King gave a host of reasons for leaving the ULA. I suggest you look up, on the Forum, what he said at the moment he said he was leaving. Then we'll see if there was plenty of "blame" to go around for those who wish to play the blame game.
p.p.s. Since you're not giving me the break I requested, and which I so badly need, from the ULA, I can only say: Frank, you're main problem is that you're a non-stop pain-in-the-ass. For a Buddhist, it's strange that you have absolutely no patience.
Chill out, please. I know what I'm doing.

FDW said...

These facts are from your own mouth and further more discussed on the ULA proboards forum.
I'm not trying to prove something, on the other hand if you are, then you should if it's that important, especially to your PR savvy, then it goes without saying that you should.
Also Jessica Wilbur is a ULAer, Richette is not and Jeff's decision-- again all I'm saying-- was probably informed by this.
Your right on formulating these questions of the conditions that a writer of LR's calibre is beset with, and they are parallel mbut in less developed way with the more significant and case-valid focus on the Carver "incident". It pretty much sums up the arrogance and blood-sucking nature of a corrupt publishing monad and by calling attention to it you've got the tiger by the tail.
That situation however is not going to change. So the answer is not so much an alternative but from OUR point of view a step above that whereas independent either coupled with alternative (who's to say that taking the alternative route will not just be as turgid and compromised as the system model it is just alternative to) or not suits the critical point WE're in as AUTISTS right now, Jeff Potter has been making this point, and recently put apolish on it, for the past few years.
The "thing" with MK by the way was as you remember just one of the instigations that took place at the referred to ULA underground ratskeller action- reading.
As for your jibe about bringing the ULA into your mix, I agree to not pester you again, but you should do the same, I'm only bringing it up because you are. So I'd appreciate it if you stop pestering the ULA by doing so.
Are you a bhuddist that yiou can criticize someone who has taken the "triple Gem" to heart and actually practiced samatha- vipasana meditation for over 15 years?
One: I am a Thervada Buddhist if one at all, not the processed and packaged American Zen hedonist that people like yourself when flipping the ol' flim flam like to spin.
Like I've told you before tolerance and patience are two different characterics. Equinamity is what's happening and the warriorship of equanimity, "upekkha".
The way one treats themselves and others is what I'm talking about.
Violence denial and lies are not tolerated in myself so why should I do so for anyone else especially if they are not making the effort to or have the self-discipline of living DARMMA.
Also LR and Carver are responsible for the decisions THEY made and the acts THey've committed: I feel like you're not even mentioning like a good commie, should.

FDW said...

I know you know what you're doing.
And I like what you're doing so please, m'friend, by all means hang in there and keep up the admirable work.

jimmy grace said...

Very depressing. Artists and a blowhard trapped together in an endless accusatory cycle.

King said...

??? I'm not a commie or a Buddhist.
I never claimed I'm not a blowhard. (Or more accurately, a barker.)
p.s. Real identities only, "Grace." As I now work only for myself, I have even less reason to tolerate mischievous demi-puppets.
Show the honesty which others who post here show.
Thank you.

FDW said...

Yeh, King and I are kindred members of the same Fight Club, legitimate Apaches who live hard and now how to lay down a good line of tradtional American satirical social-Naturalist witing when we feel like it. King's better at it than I am he might be the best alive who hasn'y been crushed under the wheel, unlike you...

Graceless who are one of those cad's that pesters more like a fly or a hep-ititus virus, but there's a pattern to your comeupance.
I do believe that you are one of those ass kissers that smarms around the dead body politic of organs like the Paris Review editorial bored, in other words an organ-grinder.
The fact that you didn't run to the defense of Loose Cluck or most tellingly Donut Hull tells me that your tight with Loonville, both of them.