Monday, February 18, 2013

More Blackballing

I HAD set up yet another twitter account, @ULANews, in preparation for an eventual Underground Literary Alliance restart. The idea will be to use it to get word out about various ULA actions, should they ever come.

I’ve sent out a few tweets on the address, trying things out. A few too many. I find this twitter address already blocked by the prestigious New York Review of Books twitter account, @nybooks. “You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user.”

Hmm. That was quick. These people don’t mess around. What was my particular offense, I wonder?

Possibly it was my blog post here:

--dissecting a New York Review of Books article by Lorrie Moore.

More likely it was a reply I tweeted on 2/14 to a retweet by @nybooks, concerning an article by Alissa Wilkinson on the Books and Culture web site about a swanky New York Review of Books 50th anniversary affair in New York. In my tweet I said: “Sounds elitist and stuffy. A funeral oration over the body of literature passed.”

A fair opinion, actually. A valid intellectual statement from one who believes the worlds of literature and publishing as we know them are drastically changing, like it or not. Of a piece with my post about Lorrie Moore.

Well! The literary snobs at New York Review of Books apparently are having none of it.

No, it’s for sure that you see 100 times the opinionated tweets thrown around, a free-for-all exchange of ideas, in the world of sports!—than in what passes today for the literary scene. Surely moribund, if they can tolerate not the slightest criticism. The New York Review of Books block of my twitter account proves the truth of my tweet. Static mannequins with dust over them, in a closed and stuffy room—windows sealed closed—occupants of the office removed from the hectic noise of the world below. They must be protected, at all costs, from such give-and-take, such bustle, such noise.

Little minds inhabiting a weak and fearful world.


(p.s. I note a line in Alissa Wilkinson’s article, in which she disdains “the flattery of representation, a personal world that merely reflects ourselves back to us—“  She could be speaking about no one so much as today’s establishment literary world.)

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