Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Literary Castle

Part of the ULA's role in literature is to be scorned and attacked and part of it is to be ignored. People know we're out there-- they read our site and this blog. Our ideas are mocked or mimicked, our arguments followed. This can't be acknowledged. To acknowledge us would be to broaden their conception of the literary world. It'd be too shocking to establishment minds. Their systems would rebel; they'd have heart attacks and nervous breakdowns.

It's funny to witness their stodgy internal debates: Gessen versus Wood versus Marcus versus Franzen-- all taking place within the thick stone walls of the castle; refined and lifeless words; echoes bouncing back and forth amid the cold and dusty halls. The drawbridge is raised, the gates secure. The pontification continues. "No, YOU are the proper Elitist," one of the nobles insists. "No, YOU are," the other returns. "No, I am." "I am." They trade bon mots. Both quote Henry James for support while sipping wine and nibbling fancy hors d'oeuvres. Allow the people outside into the conversation? It couldn't be done-- or even thought of.

Outside the castle, unrest grows. Other discussions-- with more energy; with stronger rhetoric-- take place around campfires. Those on the battlements of the castle avert their eyes and pretend not to notice.

No comments: