Tuesday, December 02, 2008


The biggest problem of today's literary world is its moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

I can give multiple examples of intellectual and moral cowardice, beginning with the Bennington Summer Writers Conference of 1995 when Liam Rector publicly destroyed copies of an anti-corruption issue of my zeen in full view of many of the biggest names in the lit-biz. None of the sterling figures present said or did anything. (Two of them, along with a student who was there, privately informed me about the incident.)

Another example was in 2000/2001, when NOT ONE of 300 prominent literary names the ULA sent its Moody Protest to would sign it, though many agreed with it privately, as documented by the N.Y. Post.

I encountered more moral and intellectual cowardice from lit-bloggers in 2005 over the matter of plagiarism in Harper's mag-- a matter eventually resolved by the magazine with an essay from much-awarded lit-stooge Jonathan Lethem defining the word plagiarism out of existence. (Esteemed members of the intellectual community were okay with this.)

Harper's Editor Roger D. Hodge, an icon of corruption, last month came out publicly in favor of Machiavellian lying, and again, not a whisper of disagreement from literary jellyfish.

As big a problem is that established literary writers have no moral compass, and so are able to lie and cheat at will-- and always able to rationalize it.

Even the underground showed weakness when the ULA lost five members early in 2007, at a time when I was pushing hard on two separate fronts. Those same two matters are in front of us again. How many undergrounders now are willing to rejoin the battle?

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