Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where Are the Pop Writers?

It's funny to me that today's system writers are attracted to punk, yet avoid the fact that the ULA was the most punk group of writers EVER. We not only dared to hype the untutored-but-real writing of the Urban Hermitts and Emerson Damerons of the underground zine scene, but went so far as to publish a novel with typos in it to match the raw, in-your-face narrative. Too punk for some.

THE CRUX of the problem was that the ULA's attitude and aesthetic was a bridge too far for the ultra-standardized lit world. We asked lit-folks to open their minds too much. It was more than the processors could process. This is why I've pulled back my aesthetic goals, and am now looking to promote writing that's only part punk: "pop." Think Shonen Knife. I still seek an art "Explosion!"-- one done in more subtle fashion.

These are the choices-- or a mix of same. The key is how our minds as writers are set up. I don't care about the first. I understand the second. I look for writers who can do the third.

Too many system-trained writers are just about the first. The postmodernists seem about only the second (think David Foster Wallace, who pushed the envelope of intellect so far his brain exploded). The literary journal n + 1 is about only the intellect, and it's boring as hell. Intellect, training, and form are relevant to art only in how far they go toward achieving the third part of the equation.
In looking over the "Three Question" responses so far, I find interesting each writer's different approach. Higgs's answers are purely intellectual, as might be expected. Others' are more personal. Wred Fright shows the pop/punk attitude, in that he's purely relaxed and involved in the concept of the art-- he's not looking objectively at art so much as plunging into it, and so his answers are lively.

I especially like Ms. Lacey's answers also, because they're honest and convey emotion without trying to-- a person who lives on the edge of her emotions, is my uninformed guess. Someone with upside as a writer.

These are random speculations on my part which likely mean nothing.

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