Friday, February 20, 2009

Winning the Battle

IN ONE WAY I've wasted my time on this blog the past couple years, to little apparent effect. But in another way it's been THE key battleground in the fight to change, and thereby save, literature.

The literary establishment believes in this blog's importance. Why else have two (at least) of their best and brightest-- Daniel Handler in San Francisco and another character in Brooklyn-- spent many thousands of hours reading it; making many hundreds of comments, of involved arguments-- so many I stopped posting them all.

They know the reality of what I said at the beginning-- that the literary rebellion was a campaign of ideas more than it was anything else. Books, zeens, actions, and shows were secondary. One couldn't overthrow the establishment without winning the debate with them. Win that debate, and their cause was lost. The floor of their premises would vanish beneath them.

It's a little strange that the establishment has believed in the potential of this rebellion more than have undergrounders themselves. The mandarins have behaved as if literary revolution was inevitable. Witness the comments of Tom Bissell in his 2003 Believer essay on the ULA; Aaron Hicklin in his foreword to the Black Book anthology; and Marty Moss-Coane's 2007 WHYY interview with me. Their concern was that we powerless undergrounders would soon have too much power-- to then begin excluding the excluders. Examine the sources. Their belief in the reality of literary revolution is palpable.

Why is that?

Because the establishment was on the receiving end of our noise. They were present, mainly in New York, when the many Page Six write-ups, and stunning actions like the KGB crash and "Howl" Protest, created for the underground cause tremendous buzz.
An analogy to this blog is what happened after D-Day during World War II. The allies achieved a tiny beachhead on Fortress Europe, but for weeks afterward were stalled. Close maneuvering occurred, as both sides concentrated more and more resources on a tiny spot. That tiny spot would determine the outcome of the war. The allies won the maneuvering, of course. They broke out of the trap, and then swiftly gobbled territory as they moved forward.
I'm only one undergrounder, and can't carry the entire cause alone. BUT-- these blog posts have not been unimportant. They're part of the foundation of ideas necessary to any upstart cultural moveWe can fail everywhere else, but ideas go on. They're in the heads now even of our enemies, and can't be removed.

Some important undergrounders wondered why I was spending time on the Paris Review/CIA matter. It's a crucial issue because it indisputably proves the corruption of the established literary world-- proved not by CIA involvement alone, but by the everpresent cover-up, which now stands full of cracks, on the verge of collapse. If there's any honesty among New York literary folk, they'll acknowledge this, and that I've won the argument.

Once this happens, the game's over.

(See related post at

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