Thursday, January 03, 2013

One More Inaccuracy


Re the Johannes Lichtman review of Magic Hours.

Leaving out crucial information isn’t being accurate.

In his remarks about the Underground Literary Alliance, Lichtman says, “—they group Rick Moody together with Jonathan Franzen because both are members of the ‘elite.’”

This isn’t true. One has to distort language and meaning to make it true. The statement, as it’s presented, is a falsehood.

I’ll give the link again to the backstory of the ULA’s encounters with Moody and Franzen:

Much more, incidentally, remains to be said about the dishonesty of the pertinent section of Tom Bissell’s ULA essay.

Abuse of the grants system is why we wrote about Rick Moody and Jonathan Franzen. We didn’t cover their writing in our pieces on them, because that wasn’t the topic in question. Neither did we “hate” them. That’s projecting emotion where it doesn’t belong.

We—or at least most of us—criticized the grants system not because we wanted grants ourselves, but to point to the corruption of establishment literature in contrast to the zine world. We were also acting as advocates for writers of every stripe.

The word “elite” is not a synonym for “corrupt.” It’s not a synonym for “cronyism.” With even his choice of words, Professor Lichtman isn’t accurate.

I always thought “elite” meant the best individuals—not the worst.

Accuracy means hitting the bulls eye. In the portion of his review about the Underground Literary Alliance, Johannes Lichtman missed with every shot.

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