Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Radical Letter?

What can be said for the letter from me appearing in today's New York Times Book Review is that it expresses a few opinions which normally don't appear in the pages of that esteemed publication.

For instance, my criticism of "Big Six" publishing as a whole, and the quality of work produced.

Contrast that with the "Upfront" Editors note two pages prior, which lauds illustrator Kelly Blair.

"Blair brings an array of qualifications to the task-- not least her firsthand connection to the publishing world."

To Insiders, the literary world exists within the "Big Six" extensions of all-encompassing media empires. Their minds are captured by these entities. They're unable to view American literature from an objective stance outside them.

"Because Blair has held important positions at two publishing houses. . . ."

This is what matters to this clubby world. (Represented by an ad for the Brooklyn Book Festival, which gives a line-up of trendy or approved insider writers.)

Not a clue that this world will soon be under strong assault from the economics of DIY 99-cent ebooks. Partying before the Deluge, I guess.

The Editors' note discusses whether men and women are represented equally in the publishing world. Not a reflection of the fact that the vast majority of both men and women in that world are from the upper levels of society, and so are hardly representative of what the authentic voice of America sounds like

While I much appreciate the inclusion of my letter, I have to wonder if it would've been accepted had I not at least some kind of a name and standing-- that they were able to put a resume of sorts under that name ("former director" etc) to show that I wasn't simply a nobody off the streets? It's inescapable that that elite world revolves around certifications and credentials.

I prefer to discover new writers authentically from the streets of this nation, who have no connections or credentials-- only the power of their minds and the raw scars of their experiences.

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