Thursday, April 10, 2008


Though I've been permitting a free-for-all on my Comments page, I encourage those who drop in to use their own identities. It's a sign of character, and adds credibility to what you say.

To create a new literature, a new culture, a new society-- to start over in this crazy country we've inherited-- we need to do so on a foundation of truth, character, and responsibility.

Are you willing to step into the future, or remain chained to a past world of corruption and lies?


John said...

Yes, you do permit a free-for-all regarding comments...except for that time just recently when you closed down comments completely. You said it was because you wanted to focus on other things instead of being distracted by arguing, yet that is a poor excuse since you can only read the comments if you go to them yourself; you could have ignored the comments or even not read them at all.

Perhaps the real reason you closed down comments was because the arguments were too cogent and too hot for you to handle; you do have a problem responding to a poster's argument. Instead you focus on a lack of identity, a real politician move. You switch the focus away from the issues to devote yourself to trivialities such as whether the commenter is known by a name or by "anonymous"--as if that really has anything to do with what the poster says?

And let it be known that I always post under my name, so you can't even use that argument against me. Instead, you ask what my motives are rather than arguing against the points I make. I don't believe you can respond directly to a question, and I aim to prove it here.

A simple question: In your view, are there any, even just one good writer being published by a major publishing house today, yes or no?

John said...

Just to clarify: When I ask about good writers being published, I'm talking about new books; books published within the last five years, not, for example, Hemingway, whose are still in print, but has stopped writing a long time ago, obviously.

King said...

Nice theory, but wrong.
First, I always read the comments. Isn't that half the fun of running this thing?
Second, I'm trying to keep five blogs updated simultaneously. (With another on the way.) This takes a lot of time, a lot of writing. At times I will have to shut down comments here, to avoid distractions.
Third, as you recall, there was a hectic underground debate going on another site, which took away more energy and time.
Fourth, there was Mr. W-- I didn't wish to shut him out yet at the same time allow the sea of loathsome demi-uppets who post here anonymously.
Why do you have trouble believing what I say?
Too hot to handle?
I've been engaging in such debates on-line since 2001-- at times very extensively, on a variety of places. (See some of the archived debates on alt.zines.) I don't mind "losing" arguments, as long as I can make my points.
I consider myself a literary critic-- even if no one else does.
Name me one of the hyped critics-- Menand, Birkerts, Wood, (they all seem to be at Harvard, incidentally) who makes himself available to questions and criticism to 1/100th the extent I do.
Can you?
p.s. Re "a real politican move." I think you're talking about yourself and your own mindset.
You just don't get it-- basic principles such as meaning what you say and saying what you mean; or, yes, posting under your own identity. Which you refuse doing.
It's not a triviality. It goes to the heart of today's literary corruption. Basic principles are the foundation of a philsophy-- of an entire system of thought, and by extension, of behavior.
Our present intellectual system, of which established literature is part, is built on a shaky foundation.
You post under what name? John? Who is that?
My motives have been questioned by you and others-- thoroughly. My identity has been investigated on this very blog. I live with it, because I stand behind what I say. I've made some strong accusations, such as with the Paris Review/CIA story. Did I do this anonymously?
Can't you see how my credibility would be hurt if I didn't stand behind my own stories, my words, my writing?
Re your final question: Yes, of course there are some good writers being published today. (Mary Gaitskill, to name one off the top of my head.) Even characters like Philip Roth aren't bad writers-- just not great ones, and undeserving of the acclaim.
One would hope, with the many billions of dollars spent, that some good writers WOULD be published.
Is it good enough?
Isn't General Motors still building some decent cars?
This doesn't alter the fact that the company is in long-term decline.

BradyDale said...

John, Chill out.
Wenclas turns comments off and on now and again on this site. Like all bloggers, he can do whatever the hell he wants. It's his spot. He built it. Whatever.
And, it's true. Lots of comments can get distracting. It's hard to ignore them... even when things get really weird. Like when that guy started writing about how he was composing books on toilet paper.
Anyway, he's trying to keep his head above water and also run a very popular blog. Sometimes you need a break from a piece of it.
Chill. Out.
It's a problem I wish I had.

John said...

No one's talking to you Brady (well, except now). It's King's blog. If he wants to ban me, he can. Until then, I'll say what I want.

Anyhow, the point is valid: it's not a free-for-all if the comments are disabled.

But to King: I am looking forward to the Richette review. I'm interested to know more about this great literature you're promoting, because for me, the stories have to speak for themselves. The hype is important, yes; it got me here after all. I'm interested to see where it goes from here.