Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Reason to Vomit


Head Aristocrat, Poster Boy of Literary Corruption, the darling of rich tax-shelter foundations and conglomerates, Rick Moody, has written the Foreword to Soft Skull's The Literary Press and Magazine Directory 2006/2007, a catalogue of small independent publications.

He begins: "This is a foreword that means to incite!"
He ends: "This book means to incite! Take back your means of production, maker and consumer of American literature! It belongs to you!"

Could they have gotten no one else to write the Foreword except the one person with the least credibility on the subject? Who needs real DIY undergrounders? We don't exist, don't ya know. (Moody seems to be everywhere. Is he a real person? The establishment must have two dozen Rick Moody clones floating about.)

Hey rich guy, incite the lit world by giving back all the grant money you've gobbled up for yourself.

Franzen Wrap-Up

Note that no one came to the defense of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections on my "Monster Franzen" post analyzing it below. No one who blurbed it, or bought it, or continues to laud it like the hapless fellows at n+1. I even got fairly specific (no "broad brush," Gessen), simply by returning to literature's roots. As I also was specific about the failings of James Wood, another papier mache idol of the literary establishment.

The truth is that The Corrections was never a very good novel, not even when everyone in litdom was raving about it. They were either captives of mass hallucination, or obediently following the crowd. ("Am I supposed to like this book?") One can believe that most of those who bought the novel never read it-- but it did look impressive for a season on their affluent coffee tables. Those who did read it are those who see Literature as a Duty. They painfully improve themselves by accepting the painful burden of Culture. It's what good people do; a regretful necessity like going to the dentist, or having a face lift. They punish themselves for their crap bourgeois lifestyles by reading a crap bourgeois book.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


The hue of the literary establishment. One class, one style, one voice. One solitary obedient mindset which questions nothing. (Think Phillip Lopate abasing himself abusing his soul crawling across the stage to feed his family while the Puppetmaster in the black hat looks on with amusement; Lopate the loyal and stupid servant of corrupt power-- the perfect demi-puppet.)


How It's Done in America Today.

I can't help notice the casual way art is apporopriated in this society. The top recording "hits" now are by clueless white girls like Christina Aguilera singing black; exact duplications of hip-hop without a trace of originality or personality added. (Which even Madonna managed.) Who can blame blacks for believing the general society wants them exterminated? (The message seems to be: why put black faces on the Affluent Class's video screens when they can be replaced with idiotic robotic white stand-ins?)

(Fact is underclass blacks ARE considered obsolete, are on the verge of economic extinction, the white working class not far behind them. Next: major segments of the middle class, on the road toward a country of slaves and aristocrats.)

The battle against appropriation is what the ULA's "Howl" protest was about-- fighting against literary aristocrats casually co-opting the Beat stance and name. We saw their fraudulence up close. If the elegantly dressed co-optors had a sliver of reality to them, they would have joined our outdoor mic, instead of scurrying quickly inside. Their behavior showed a total lack of confidence. They have a gigantic cultural establishment of boards, foundations, conglomerates: MONEY behind them, but they have no balls; not a trace of belief in their voices or in their own intrinsic reality as poets and writers. They know better than anyone else their fraudulence-- that their towering impressive edifice of Literature is made of cardboard.

August Winner

************This Month's Winner************
**********Demi-Puppet of the Month*********
*************Marisha Pessl*****************

Pessl's confusion is shown in her conclusion to her hyped novel. Marisha admits that what's she's just written is crap; not the genuine article. She concedes it's second-hand game-playing, not the authentic voice of experience (offered undiluted and unprocessed by undergrounders). Have any of the critics praising the book noticed this? They couldn't pause to. They had a job to do. Now get out of their way as they elbow themselves to the head of the stampeding trend-following herd of cattle rushing to be on the right side of Literature's newest designated great young novelist.

Marisha Pessl deserves the award for giving the flacks of the establishment hope that their tottering empire can still produce an important work. (At least until they read the book!)

Runner-up: Erika Schickel.

(Phillip Lopate the cartoon establishment attack dog is upset that he didn't win the award this month. All that groveling for naught! Maybe next month, chump.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Monster Franzen


A Laundry List of Jonathan Franzen's Problems as a Novelist.

The best novels contain strikingly memorable characters. The personalities in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Moby Dick, and The Octopus are real and more than real. The protagonists of The Count of Monete Cristo and The Great Gatsby vibrate with mystery. Novels give us characters who demand to be read.

This has been true of the best novels and always will be true. Jack Kerouac's novels radiate with the joy of heroes of contemporary life. Current underground novels Tales from the Texas Gang by Bill Blackolive, and Wred Fright's The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus, behind the action and comedy, are depictions of heroes. The authors see what's best in the humanity around them. In the tradition of Morte D'Arthur they collect this humanity in a gang or a rock band, then elevate it above the commonplace, giving our modern-day life meaning and purpose.

In Jonathan Franzen's famed novel we see none of this. There's no idealism, no mystery, no humor, no romance. Franzen is the purely objective writer. He objectifies his characters, and so his protagonist comes across as an android; his women as uninteresting objects, as a series of breasts.

It's a pessimistic mindset. This is how Franzen views life. There's no enthusiasm for people in his writing. (If he has none, how are his readers supposed to have any?) There's craft but no life in his sentences. His words just lay there, the resulting book a dead artifact.

We've all met charismatic persons animated far beyond the strictly material. One would hope we'd find them in the pages of literature, especially if we've paid $25 for the book!

The ULA was formed with individuals who are larger than life, including Blackolive, Fright, Jack Saunders, and Crazy Carl Robinson among them. We've added others. (Jessica Disobedience; Eric Broomfield; Frank Walsh!) Why would we settle for anything less from writing we espouse and admire?

There's no depth to Jonathan Franzen's characters, no resonance to his narrative. What you see is what you get, aside from thin intellectualisms placed transparently ON TOP of the story he tells. (References to intellectual books.)

There are no superficial references in H. Rider Haggard's She, one of the most exciting novels ever written. There is an enormous amount of myth. The text presented is an essential part of the tale. Haggard, one of the first Europeans to travel through obscure parts of Africa, drew on historical legends of great African civilizations he'd heard about. He used the explorations of his adventurers as a metaphor for exploration of the subconscious. (She was a favorite novel of Freud and Jung.)

Haggard wasn't the only adventure writer to explore uncharted territory of the mind. Robert Louis Stevenson famously did so in "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," another story of unusual power. Scott Fitzgerald does it in Gatsby, the ambition of his main character expressed by Fitzgerald's description of the ambition of America itself.

The Great Gatsby is the story of a dreamer and has the atmosphere of a dream. The expression of dreams, journeys into the subconscious, are the substance of the most truthful art. This is why dreamlike children's movies like "The Wizard of Oz" and "Lili" reverberate also to adults.

Franzen's The Corrections can't be called a great work of art. His characters aren't heroic, they have no darkness, no depth, no dreams, no tragedy, no greatness-- and neither does their author, which is why I've mocked him as robotic. His people and settings are relentlessly uninteresting because they're relentlessly dead.

This is shown in Franzen's descriptions, the perfunctory cataloging of material substance, little distinction between any of it. The cataloging isn't done in a way to bring his characters to life. The ring in a person's ear doesn't highlight the individual in our eye. The detail is added in the same way Franzen describes furniture. His characters become furniture to us. They contain no echoes, merely thin irritations or mechanistic wants.

This isn't simply because of Franzen's realism. James Gould Cozzens was a realistic writer without illusions, but his description was done with a purpose. He presented his characters within a context of a larger world. He carried greater intent as a novelist. The Corrections strives to carry large themes, yet everything is enacted and described on a tiny scale.

For all James Gould Cozzens's unflinching hardness, he created moments of myth, heroism, and surprise. (The sudden appearance of General Beal at the gun range in Guard of Honor is like the arrival of the Black Knight in Walter Scott's Ivanhoe.) By elevating the system Cozzens describes, he elevates the flawed individuals stoically operating within it, giving their actions a sense of greatness.

There was a time when novelists weren't factory-produced automatons, but natural storytellers. Robert Louis Stevenson was called by South Pacific natives "Tusitala": Teller of Tales. Whether writing about detectives, pirates, or even bohemian artists in the hilarious novella "The Story of a Lie," Stevenson knew how to tell a story. There's a sense of adventure in all his works. The reader is eager to discover, "What happens next?"-- because of the enthusiasm Stevenson brought to his characters and settings. As all great novelists, he allows us to see every person, place, and plot with fresh eyes.

Enthusiasm isn't anywhere to be found in Franzen's The Corrections. The book is an expression of anti-enthusiasm. The characters move listlessly through a limbo-ed world, marooned among the mundane descriptive details of their environment; trapped in a dust-filled room with the rest of the furnishings. The people are affectless; with the pharmaceutical drug of the novel or without it. How could anyone ever tell the difference?

Which is fine if this is Franzen's goal-- but what reason does he give us to read his book? Fascinating characters? No. Great insight and knowledge? Little to be found. Compelling plot? Of course not!

The classic example of a storyteller achieving greatness as a novelist is Alexandre Dumas. The Three Musketeers was enthusiastic and exciting; little else. When Dumas presents the same characters again many years later in The Vicomte de Braggelone the novelist has expanded in talent ten-fold. The tension of the interwoven threads of the story builds with irresistible force while at the same time Dumas presents the wide scope of society; the machinations of the political world. Amid the maneuverings, tragedies, and heart-racing excitement stands the iconic wearied soldier D'Artagnan, who represents in his person an entire code of life: an example to the other characters and to ourselves. The story is not narrowly constricted by details. It's expanded into a far-reaching experience of the world, of prisoners in dungeons and thrilling rides on horseback. It's spread further, deep into our hearts. The novel has reverberated through our souls with the enormous passion of its characters and the unrelenting power of the great story it tells.

Literature is the greatest art form because it has the greatest soul.

Film is being revolutionized through low-budget auteurs editing footage on the Internet; exemplified by Patrick King's promo ULA DVD "The Masked Professor," or by shocking works of realism and insanity like Jonathan Caouette's "Tarnation," which makes John Waters look like Walt Disney and every Hollywood filmmaker who lived appear to be standing in cement.

Underground writers are doing with literature what Caouette does with movies, taking words outside the refined restrictive box of academies and conglomerates into the crazed realism of the actual world. James Nowlan's Security destroys the pretenders of literature, this nation's conformist Benjamin Kunkels who think there's a rulebook for being transgressive or different; "Write Like Kafka in Five Easy Steps": endlessly imitative; who've never untethered themselves from their brainwashing long enough to be able to discover a new path, which a James Nowlan does without trying by being himself.

The difference between the pampered house pets of Approved Literature, and the wild beaten-up undomesticated article knocking over trash cans and crying on streetcorners is stark. The pets won't acknowledge our existence. How could they! Tagged and collared house cats resting on pillows on posh sofas in the mansion, well-scrubbed and brushed, they discourse among themselves with precisely modulated meows, mocking the "privileged few" who exist, somewhere, perhaps in the even larger house up the road. They know little about the harsh struggle of the outside world-- have pattered through it once or twice on bejeweled leashes in-between the constant brushing they endure in order to win ribbons at the next cat show.

Taken in their cages down the walk to the parked car to travel to the show, the pets shiver at the cold, and glance for a moment at eyes peering out from trees and bushes in the snow.

The authentic underground writer isn't fit for a cat show. Most of us are wacked-out to the max. Look at the teeth of a Frank Walsh, at his taped-up eyeglasses, at his workingman's hands representing decades of struggle, then read the unbought unregulated genius of his poems and prose and you'll see something is desperately wrong with the realm of Literature. It's a world of mansions of illusions of greatness; the ribboned pets at the show original and insightful only among themselves; staring arrogantly at one another from inside their cages as wealthy matrons gush over them, and their Masters move their cages about. The n+1 Abyssinians, who were briefly toward the back of the hall, causing frown-faced disgruntlement among them, are moved closer to the front. They notice a large Maine Coon in a fancy cage festooned with red and blue ribbons. Jonathan Franzen. They've arrived at the big-time, as designated by The New Yorker and the New York Times, who are there to cover the well-organized well-controlled event.

Do the pets know anything about being a cat? Is the Franzen animal, with correctly-spelled well-controlled sentences unlike what bedraggled James Nowlan does, really a great novelist?
Machine products like Franzen aren't natural writers. They're artificial creations, and so their creations likewise seem artificial. "I want to be a writer!" they say when they begin their training. "Turn me into one."

In a limited sense this can be done. The would-be writer works diligently on his story, in his workshop pounding the clunky object into shape, hammering out the rough spots, going through draft after draft, making it moderately readable, if not compelling, so that at the end of his labors the result resembles a story. It may even win awards, as stories of writers like Tom Beller and so many others have done, given by other well-trained lit writers able to spot the ably finished product absent snags or bumps, but lacking also emotion, opinion, force, and truth.

I'm reminded of an essay of mine about zeens published in Open City in the 1990's. Editor Beller tried to impose his unwieldy training, his stiff New Yorker standards, upon a zeen rant with its own internal rhythmns, its vastly different dynamics.

(Message to Van Gogh: "Paint inside the lines, please.")

The writing instructor: You can't write about this and you can't write about that!

ULA writers: Each has his or her own vision about what makes a story. They've developed their own art, by their lights, so what you see from each of them is unique, and when you put them together the reader is given not endless homogenization, but a kaleidoscope of standards, styles, and aesthetic ideas. We might be more likely to discover a Stephen Crane, a self-publisher whose writing was all over the place.

The instructor's voice barges in: "Stay inside the lines, sir. Please remain inside the lines!"

The epitomy of the literary writer is Jonathan Franzen. The quintessential establishment pet, diligently following direction and performing by the rules until finally being rewarded, after countless grants and advances, with large promotional backing for The Corrections. He does everything so well! The handlers are pleased with him. He writes with approved literary style and while he's at it throws in a (weak) imitation of meaning and ideas. His book justifies the entire expensive university/foundation/conglomerate process.

It looks like a novel. If you don't expect too much from the novels you buy, like great excitement and flow, it reads like one. Sort of.

Franzen is a Frankenstein monster, as is his book, put together in a laboratory with various accummulated parts. There it goes!-- out into the world, as its agents and editors look on proudly. Mechanically it travels across the landscape, up hills and down, arms swinging stiffly, eyes staring blankly ahead, the pages turning, turning, with great effort but turning all the same, a painful slog. The monster covers distance because it's inexhaustible, you can see it motoring slowly over the horizon, not sure where it's destined but continuing on, almost like a real person or a real novel.

The Co-Optors

I spoke with ULA poet Frank Walsh last night. We agreed that the mini-conclave a little over a week ago here in Philly was a successful get-together, highlighted by performances by guests Shawn Terreri and Natalie Felix, as well as special guest Jessica Disobedience (aka "Edna Million") and the usual ULA suspects. Some special guests like Philly novelist Larry Richette were in the audience. I didn't do follow-up hype for it because it wasn't a ULA show, but a modest reading; more a semi-private affair. Full of energy for all that.

We haven't adequately done follow-up noise about the great ULA Cleveland trio of shows, which were hugely successful. The ULA is alive and well.

In our conversation, Walsh and I agreed that the biggest threat to undergrounders isn't the demi-puppets, who can't be blamed for their cattle-like behavior anymore than, well, cattle can! No, far more dangerous are those who would intentionally co-opt our stance without reality behind it. This is why I've criticized n+1, once I realized they were frauds more intent on preserving and protecting the status quo-- literary things as they are-- than changing it.

Walsh and I both have felt for years that our very existence as writers, as performers and noise-makers, is under threat. The establishment would just as soon we not exist. They would prefer to wipe us out-- because we're the genuine article. This feeling, exaggerated or not, is very real. And isn't it true? Hasn't there been a nonstop assault on the American working class for twenty years? I wrote about this in a long essay for a lit-mag in 1994. Things are worse now.

We fear those who would co-opt our standing and appropriate our message.

Theoretical Diarrhea

The reason the novel is dying is because of Theory. Self-important establishment writers can write novels only with books of Theory stacked high beside them; Theories upon Theories about the novel. They add more Theory upon that. They phone university presses to assure themselves more books about Theory are on the way. "Ship them to me overnight!"

At one time, authors like Dickens just wrote the things. All the novelist needs is knowledge of the world and life and the ability to tell a story.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Taking Bets

Now that I've scribbled out a few thousand passable words to a novel about Detroit, I'm accepting bets regarding my original claim: that it'll blow Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections out of the water. (I expect Mr. Franzen, if he believes in his own work, and who's not hurting for cash, to put up a hundred.)

I expect antagonists of mine to jump at this. They can choose any esteemed lit critic they want to call it, once my book is further along. How can they possibly lose the bet?

My thinking: I don't have NEA, PEN, Guggenheim, MacArthur, grants up the ass like establishment pets have. I need some other incentive! (Writing novels is a notoriously inefficient use of one's time, unless you're in with the right crowd.)

(I'm also scribbling out a short play. . . .)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

New Feature


The first winner of this prestigious new award will be announced on one of the last days of August, to celebrate the demi-puppet who made the biggest contribution during the past month to the cause of establishment literature. Suggestions are welcomed.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

ULA Action

The ULA's temporary stagnation shows what happens to a group which becomes too dependent on one aspect, such as a web site. To counteract this dependence I'm restarting our snail-mail PR campaign which was so successful in our first days.

To supplement the arguments on this blog I'll be mailing colorful well-reasoned one-page arguments to a variety of lit-establishment targets-- to let them know the ULA campaign is ongoing. Our purpose as a group-- the reason the ULA was created-- is to lobby for the cause of underground writers. For instance: What good are Lefty magazines like The Nation if they give attention and publicity only to conglomerate monopoly writers from the MonoClass? We need to call them on their hypocrisy.

I plan to issue these mailings monthly. They will be strictly external to the ULA; part of our activist campaign. Mailings designed to strengthen the ULA's unity are the arena now of others in the ULA, including new Director Patrick King.

Any demi-puppet or Overdog can ensure receiving the new broadsides by sending $5 cash (or check payable to K. Wenclas) for 12 issues to me at PO Box 42077, Philadelphia PA 19101. (This covers my expenses.) Include a name or title and address-- whether for yourself or for any publishing/literary/academy person or office you want to receive them. The outbursts will name names and are guaranteed to be exciting.

This is a new team within the ULA team. Its purpose will be to generate focused pro-ULA propaganda, through snail mail or e-mail, on a consistent basis. Other ULAers are welcome to sign on board. For now this unit has one member: me.

The renewed noise is only beginning.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


It looks like I won't be quite as strapped for time as I thought I might be. This will allow me to put down a few words to my proposed novel, but also to improve this blog.

UPCOMING in future posts:
-"The Problem of Franzen Part II"
-"Calamitous Nonsense by Marsha Pretzl: A Novel"
-"The Miseducation Scam Part III"
and a lot of other good stuff.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I've finally figured out how to add links to this blog. If you want your site or blog added, please e-mail me. All that I ask is for you to link this blog on your blog or site! (Or inform me if it already is. Thanks!)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Meet the ULA

Frank Walsh is hosting an impromptu ULA event this Sunday, August 13th, 3:30 pm, at Kaffa Crossing, a restaurant at 4423 Chestnut Street in West Philly. Special Guest is Jessica Disobedience from Chicago, who'll be reading. A few others of us will likely read as well-- then we'll have a discussion about literature and its future, and a question-answer period. ALL are welcome; friend, foe, or curious onlooker. I'm told the affair will be very informal, so just show up, watch the poetry, order food, and hang out. We'll see ya there!

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Mystery of Talent Part III

Amazing the either-or simplistic mindset of brainwashed factory products of the literary establishment.

When I speak of natural writing talent I'm not talking about genetics. What a robotic conception these people have of humans!-- as if we were all created in petri dishes.

A person may feel more deeply than others from a variety of causes-- most undoubtedly environmental. Maybe he or she was bounced around in the womb, or starved of proper nourishment. Maybe the mother was an alcoholic or crack addict. Maybe the youngster faced a thousand hardships yelled-at abused pushed into corners hiding from the violence of life or society from gigantic 19th-century factories obscuring the sky the child running hiding finding companionship in urban tunnels with stray cats, growing a nascent sympathy for the most downtrodden of God's creations. How does one explain Dickens's vast humanity and feeling? Did his talent have anything to do with his own "Hard Times," his years of child labor? Did that influence his art? Gee, I don't know. What do you think?

My focus is on preserving and announcing natural talent once it exists. A natural writer is a natural writer-- Bill Blackolive a classic example, capturing in his voice the dialect rhythmns and life of the gritty east Texas world around him. I don't know what created him-- an intermix of influences. As a writer he's a force of nature impossible to measure or quantify, restrict or tame, as the machine operators of Literature want to do with every product they designate "writer" with proper MFA stamp of approval. He's not one of the robots.

The zeen movement of the 90's spawned not writers from test tubes or factories, but, like musician Buddy Holly, purposeful creations of themselves. The three best writers of all of the zeen talents, better than the best of the men like Aaron Cometbus and Michael Jackman, were young women; two of them who were in their teens, the other scarcely out them. The two carried zeen names-- Jennifer Gogglebox and Ammi Emergency. The other was briefly a member of the ULA.

Their zeens were explosive-- raw writing talent unlike anything seen since Stephen Crane; literary versions of a young unharnessed Elvis. Their sentences raged with rhythmn, energy, and feeling; loud, colorful, vulgar, angry, and sexy. Phenomenal talents, all three. ALREADY they blew away the very best of the established literary scene. They were Mary Gaitskill without the restrictive training; Gaitskill Untamed.

What happened to the three? Maybe they themselves will someday say. With the possible exception of Ammi, these once-striking talents represent at this time Potential Unrealized.

Everyone knows where I stand on this question. Natural talent needs not an institutionalized school, not a conforming factory, not to be regulated or screened, squelched and compressed, rough edges smoothed, unique voice taken away, served up in Mao jacket like any other stamped-out commodity of the machine. Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and others who changed the face of music did so with the help of promoters like Sam Phillips and Norman Petty who understood the new and operated independent of the conglomerate regime.

Current ULA zeen babe Jessica Disobedience, a huge hit in Cleveland, will be visiting Philly this upcoming week. Maybe she can become part of a new stable of talent, with Frank Walsh, Patrick King, Eric Broomfield, and others, which we're slowly putting together in this city.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Crimes Against Literature: Janet Maslin

The New York Times remains an important venue for book reviewing. A positive write-up in its pages signals to the rest of the mass media machine that an author is worth lauding.

This past Monday, July 31, Janet Maslin came through with a rave review of yet another rich kid prep school novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Columbia grad Marisha Pessl. The novel is about a young woman and her professor father. According to Maslin it's filled with "tireless annotations and digressions," a "mock-academic" title, and "literary attributions or historical antecedents for every thought," some of them bogus. Sound exciting? Maslin admits we live in a world "wholly without need for additions to its Prep School Confidential bibliography." Still, she loved the book.

Maybe Pessl's novel really is as good as Janet Maslin claims. More likely it fulfills its intent: appealing to bonded members of the Establishment Literary Club.

Marisha Pessl's novel sounds like another example of information in place of knowledge and wisdom; yet one more literary product with an off-putting title and constant off-putting references: superficial reminders of one's expensive overeducation in the pattern of today's trendy lit scene from n+1 to McSweeney's. The motive is to separate themselves from the rest of the population. (Here's a case when Jonathan Franzen's reading of Thorsten Veblen may actually mean something. In place of the conspicuous consumption of products the elite, Franzen included, now rely on the conspicuous but meaningless flaunting of the names of intellectual theorists. Footnotes have replaced tails and top hat with this bunch. Thorsten Veblen isn't an author of ideas so much as a name to drop. Veblen has become a top hat.)

We're witnessing the suicide of an art form. Writers and publishers are deliberately narrowing their audience. For Insider Janet Maslin, Pessl's book is right up her alley. By hyping one more in an endless stream of prep-school lit, Maslin participates in the narrowing of literature.

Literature's Dirty Little Secret is that literary overdogs don't WANT the art to reach anyone outside their exclusive club. They figure the rest of us are illiterate economic slaves with no desire or need to read. The mystery of books is reserved for themselves. Anyway, this is the path they're on.

Would the Times choose an underground writer or editor to review an underground novelist? What if we arrange the re-release of the classic Fred Woodworth work Dream World? What about the upcoming release of ULA novels by Wred Fright and James Nowlan-- or the current release of books by Leopold McGinnis and Jack Saunders? But wait! Those are productions outside the Mono-Class to which Maslin and Pessl belong. These books might actually broaden literature's audience.

By its choices, the New York Times contributes to the ghettoization of an art.

Literary Gentrification

Beware the literary gentrifiers preppy corporate chain writers moving like Starbucks into the neighborhoods of undergrounders co-opting us bulldozing us obliterating us removing the genuine article so they take up all space with their latte coffee poses and their artistic showiness.