I note among the ranks of those taking easy shots at the ULA and its writers at Tom Bissell's Facebook page is the name Neal Pollack. Neal, are you too timid to post your thoughts here at this blog?
THE SADDEST DEMI-PUPPET
Neal Pollack doesn't seem to know who he is and what he's doing. For a few years he was Dave Eggers' lead stooge. McSweeney's most prominent clown. (The ULA loves clowns.) Then in 6/19/05 Neal Pollack wrote an essay for New York Times Book Review which seemed ungrateful to his former mentor. Eggers responded the next day with a long note expressing his displeasure. (More about that in a later post.) Pollack immediately groveled, but it wasn't enough.
Neal sought to reinvent himself as a Harvard-style writer, and claimed to be the next Zadie Smith. I'm not making this up!
Of late the confused Mr. Pollack has discovered the wonders of Do-It-Yourself publishing, and announced that fact to the world. Forget his years sneering at the DIY writers of the Underground Literary Alliance. Neal portrayed us as selling zeens on streetcorners. (We have.) How do those streetcorners look now, Mr. Pollack?
The difference is that ULAers were DIY from philosophy and principle-- from utter disgust at monopoly culture and the stagnant conformity of contemporary literature. We never compromised our integrity or our art.
For Neal Pollack, DIY is a matter of expediency. If one of the "Big Six" says the word, he'll gladly go jellyfish crawling groveling debasing himself back, sliding on all fours to kiss their feet.
Can anyone respect a writer who Dave Eggers makes or breaks with a snap of his fingers?
Come on, Neal. If you can't stand up to the Dave, at least you can answer me. I'm a writer with no power at all. Even an invertebrate should be safe. Then again, maybe not!