ONE ENCOUNTERS mediocrity at every level of the literary realm, from high to low. I define mediocrity as not just resistance to change, but resistance to the very idea of change. Those who end up inhibiting or stopping the progress of an art or project are those individuals most comfortable in their own stagnancy: their own mediocrity.
The vast majority of those who today consider themselves, or pass themselves off as, creative writers, are folks without a microgram of imagination or creativity. The literary art has become so mediocre that the image of a writer today is the opposite of a picture of charisma and excitement. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Kerouac are long departed. The image of a writer today is the image of a mediocrity, and so the field attracts the like-minded.
If you step too far outside the acceptable bounds of the mediocre personality, as I surely did, then you face hostility and denunciation. This happened eventually even within the Underground Literary Alliance. The engine in the ULA’s souped-up car was making too much noise, so the ULA’s mechanics removed the engine.