Tuesday, June 10, 2008


MISGUIDED is someone who'd claim to have "shredded" my arguments; to think it a worthwhile goal to shred the arguments of one of the only persons thinking ahead of where American literature is now.

Misguided is to wring your hands over my contentious ballyhoo, for being "too mean," which shows a prim reluctance for lit to make the kind of cultural noise being made in other cultural activities on a daily basis from sports to movies to music in this country. If some individuals refuse to review underground books because one underground promoter is too loud or too mean, then they shouldn't be reviewing anything. Apply the same logic to a rock critic or movie reviewer and you'll see the absurdity of their misguided thinking-- absurdity times ten, because if any art form needs noise of every kind it's the sleepy world of literature.

I don't worry about upsetting a handful of tepid book reviewers because I know they're not reaching anybody anyhow. The potential and future audience for reading given the right promotion and the right products is ten times greater than literature's audience now. Given a choice, I'll take that future, ten out of ten times over the status quo.

Writers today are modeling themselves after the likes of Jonathan Lethem and Jeffrey Eugenides. I could give Lethem's last book full of nicely crafted prose that says nothing and goes nowhere to a non-lit person and the person would never connect with it. The novel is intended for the insular literary world itself. The status quo Volvo is stopped at an amber-light road barrier with emergency lights flashing. It's time to roar past it.

Lit needs a little less Mozart string quartet and a lot more MC5 "Kick Out the Jams." I've sought to provide that. You can have your fine musicianship. I'm looking for relentless thundering noise.

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