Sunday, December 09, 2012

Remember This?

Have you read this story before, from ten years ago?

The author, Dennis Loy Johnson, is a supporter of traditional literary writing and the current literary establishment. He’s no fan of the ULA. But he’s also an honest person.

His is quite a different take on ULA actions against corruption than Bissell’s. Nowhere in Tom Bissell’s essay, first published in 2003, then again earlier this year, is there used or implied the word whistleblower. Yet whistleblowers is exactly what ULAers were.

Did Maria Bustillos read the “J-Franz” story? Did Garth Risk Hallberg, David Ulin, Brian Wolowitz, Katie Ryder, Maria Popova, or the many others who praised Bissell’s ULA essay when they reviewed Bissell’s book?

What about the great advocate of social justice, Dave Eggers. What did he think? Did he applaud Johnson’s story, or others like it back then, as he should have? Or did he instead think, “Destroy the ULA”?

Literary history has been twisted, dissent has been squelched, voices against corruption in the literary scene have been silenced.


Kathleen said...

Interesting blog, Karl!

King Wenclas said...

My main hangout.
I notice that a McSweeneyite complained last month at another of my blogs that I was "taking apart Bissell's essay, piece by piece--"
(A McSweeneyite is a species of writer infesting the literary universe.)
My response is disbelief. That I, a lowly ULAer, could take apart an essay by one of the most esteemed essayists in the U.S.? It's not possible-- given that Bissell portrayed ULA writers as being subliterary and operating at a minimum level of intelligence. Kirkus Reviews, among others, earlier this year applauded his takedown; his smearing of ULA writers.
The McSweeney cult member should ask him-or-herself if what I've said about the essay is the truth? Clearly it is. The person should ask if the essay is filled with distortions and smears? Clearly it is.
The only question that remains:
Why did Eggers and the McSweeney's Gang republish the essay?
Why do they continue to back it?
Wouldn't it be better for their sterling reputation to throw Bissell and his essay overboard, and acknowledge them as frauds?
THAT would be an honest move.
Just wondering. . . .