INTERESTING to see over the past weeks the extent to which I'm reviled by much of the literary community. It's been just when I've been knocked down by life to one knee that characters have run out of the shadows to take shots at me: a poet; "Gawker" and his foppish NY acolytes; and a prominent member of the lit-blogger community. (On the previous post; others.) Funny that when I've been around to engage in debate they've had nothing to say, for the most part.
A curious phenomenon. The writer Fran Upman experienced something similar recently when going through personal difficulties and trying to step back from her blogging. Then-- then!-- do the carrion come into the daylight. In both cases, prematurely.
I'm generally blackballed. Lit-bloggers who apparently read this site won't deign to link to it. In their minds that'd give public recognition to its ideas. An entire organization exists whose prime motivating force seems to be resentment of me. You'd think I'm this great terrible threat to literature, controlling millions of dollars of resources, generating millions of dollars of false hype and publicity; awarding seven-figure advances to utter mediocrities or making decisions about what grant money is awarded to which writers. I've been built up in somebody's head to be a large and powerful entity.
Yet in reality, all I have is my voice. That's it. I own nothing in this world-- nothing beyond a duffel bag of clothing. (And thus, approach the John-the-Baptist ideal of a raggedy voice in the wilderness.) For the last few years I've been living out of that duffel bag.
First, I've been made aware by the armies of literary darkness that I'll be granted no quarter. The tiny outpost of outspokenness which the ULA represents, our insignificant band of literary rebels, is hemmed in on all sides, outnumbered exponentially by numerous evil legions. If the group quickly decouples itself from me, they'll be spared. I'm the sacrifice. Am I being hyperbolic? Only slightly! It's clear that once out of the ULA I'll be nothing more than a brief chapter of deleted history; shoved down the memory hole; banished because I've antagonized the powers-that-be. The literary nobles will grant amnesty to some (not many, I'd wager) but not to the chief instigator.
Second-- and in this case I'm not at all exaggerating-- what we see are manifestations of the intolerance of dissent which exists in the literary community. Can anyone doubt this? The problem which the blacklisters, or Gawker, or OW people, or Daniel Green have isn't with me-- I'm nobody with not a shred, not a microdot, of power-- but with this very blog you're reading. They'll be satisfied only when it's silenced-- not even then, because it's when I've begun posting less regularly that their distemper increases.
Read this blog's archives. What's its crimes? Nothing more-- nothing less-- than to expose literary corruption and engage writers with ideas; to inform, stir, motivate, or outrage. To cause people to think!
Such contrary activity can't be tolerated in this day and age.