IT IRKS ME just a tad when some ignorant brainwashed stooge who knows nothing about literature and writing other than what was pumped into him in school will glance at a criticism I make of the lit world-- an informed criticism-- and dismiss it, out of hand, with a remark highlighting his ignorance-- usually that I'm "bitter" or "not good enough" for said literary establishment.
Not good enough! For a System which by-and-large produces garbage, from Philip Roth down.
This is akin to the "not a writer" charge which I endured patiently for seven years from a series of ULAers I was trying to promote, from Miss Sneerzinger to Mr. Hall to the five who bailed from the ULA a year ago. (Four whose own writing has scarcely progressed from kindergarten level.) The kind of thing which finally caused me to say, "Enough!" and depart from the organization myself.
Sorry, guys, but I KNOW I can write-- have put occasional evidence of this even up on this blog, if you care to look for it. In the last few months: my 12/31 post, or the Lish/Tolstoy satire, or more recently the "Planet XYZ" and "300" posts, in-your-face though they are.
Back in the early 90's when most of my current critics were soiling their diapers I wrote two long essays for what was then the best literary magazine in the country, regular winner of national magazine awards and such. Serious essays-- unlike what I do here. (One has to wonder if the journal was penalized for publishing me. Seriously. The lit-world is every bit as corrupt as I've claimed.)
I didn't begin writing to be just one more "literary" writer, however. Instead I sought to change a system I'd found to be staggeringly backward-- to change it through noise-making tactics like the ULA. The result was being branded by the real Know-Nothings of literature, the snob boys in bow ties, as "not a writer" or "not good enough."
I sigh like Charlie Brown at the price to be paid for attempting to wake up the literary world.