Saturday, June 21, 2008

About PEN

I'd say both PEN and Paris Review are protected assets, vulnerable spots on the literary Beast, based on the reaction generated when asking questions about them, which is all I've been doing. The barriers of disinformation and demi-puppets surrounding them may be too much for me to overcome.

In a related topic, it's amazing to me how individuals like "Roody McDoody" and "Harland" ("Guildenstern" and "The Assassin") can be turned into absolute tools of established literary power.

PEN in its various manifestations is hard to assail, because it does much good work. Since its founding its purpose has been to propagate liberal Anglo-American values (democracy; freedom) around the planet-- values I agree with. The questions are two. First, whether these values are being realized in our own society, or in PEN itself. I say no. The second question is about the world context within which PEN has operated: the spread of Anglo-American financial and military power which has always seemed to accompany Anglo-American values. In other words, the spread of Empire, which was NOT a value upon which the American republic was founded. We seem to have fully adopted the redcoat, "BBC liberal" ideology against which the American Revolution stood opposed.

IF the American ideal has been perverted, this is a question well worth investigating. Frenzied opposition to the question is mere blowing of smoke.


Anonymous said...

The blowing of smoke is your own, King, dodging specific questions about your cohorts.

cs said...

King doesn't make any sense. What does he mean? PEN is good, PEN propagates good values, PEN hypocritically doesn't honor or live up to these values. Democracy and freedom are the values identified, I wonder personally how PEN's structure is "undemocratic." King's been making all the noise about it, does someone have a copy of the organization's charter and by-laws demonstrating that the game is rigged against "undergrounders"? I'd be curious to know if the "rigging" extends beyond the perfectly reasonable stipulation that members have published a book.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

You seem to agree then that we should get onto their board not just those authors who've published through the conglomerates, but underground, dissenting authors as well-- such as Wred Fright. As of now, their board comes from a very narrow social strata which is not at all democratic.
Will you sign my petition when I get it going?
p.s. Something can be both good and bad at the same time. It's not an either-or situation. The world is complex, and contradictions abound. I believe PEN can be reformed, to become a better organization.
Who could oppose that?

cs said...

Has any member of the ULA (1) joined PEN and/or (2) put him/herself up for membership on the board? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

oh dear, seems king is intent on be-clowning himself once again. cue jelly-boy...