Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Change the Model

I’VE SHOWN that the current model of American literature is broken and corrupt. It doesn’t fit the needs of society or the art. That the enormous moldy and bureaucratized system can on occasion by straining every aspect of its crumbling empire create a modest success shouldn’t blind us to its overall failure. The success doesn’t justify the gigantic resources put into it.  If there were any real competition to things-as-they-are, the failure would be shown in stark contrast.

Literature needs a new model, a new vehicle, new kinds of art exciting and striking enough to attract the public. It needs writers with the vision to leave the herd behind and set out on a daring and uncertain path. Great achievements await at the end of that path. Writers first need to scrap their moldy indoctrinated assumptions about literature and art. They’ve blindly bought everything they’ve been told by their teachers but what they’ve been told, what everyone’s been told about lit the last few decades, has been wrong.

3 comments:

Shelley said...

Great achievements may await at the end of that path, but so does obscurity.

King said...

That, my friend, is where you're wrong. I don't play the game for obscurity. The idea is to build a better model, to compete with a beat the big guys. It's very doable-- if there's the will to do it.

King said...

p.s. The description of the Dust Bowl at the top of yr blog reminds me of the different but similar situation of Detroit today. It's hard to describe what it's like-- the feeling that your world, the world you grew up in, has been stolen from you. My activities can't be understood outside that context. The facts alone can't adequately encapsulate it-- how a city of two million has dropped to 800,000; 400 acres are now vacant with many many more filled with abandoned houses, businesses, abandoned everything-- except the scavengers, the rats, and the packs of wild dogs. How a city could go fron the nation's strongest to the poorest in a matter of decades.
I'm part of Detroit diaspora but I'm also someone who survived, psychologically, psychically, the change.