ULA in the NYT Once Again!
September 13, 2012
The ULA will have a Letter in this Sunday's NYTRB!
Who knows how they'll edit it, but it's a challenge (yet again!) to the Academic Lit scene that is killing US literature to and open the gates. It's from our ex-leader Karl "King" Wenclas and it's asserting that a recent NYT story calling ULA writers "unpublishable" was slander.
ULA writers are lauded globally by those who can relate to the 99% and by those who favor an open, inclusive Lit Scene. They are frequently published. They are also still blackballed by the US Lit mafia.
The ULA has been defunct for a few years now but a new puffed up book of essays was just released reprinting one of the classic hatchet jobs against us. Without investigation writer Tom Bissell wrote, in "The Believer," that we were, of all things, Stalinists. This Ivy League reflex was astounding. The reflex against our call for openness went predictably and like this: Openness > Threat to Establishment > Fear > Hate > Unfounded Labeling > Dismissal > Silencing > Backstabbing > Erasure. The essay is brought out again for further laffs. Reviewers of the book have been mentioning this blackballing, describing it in backwards Newspeak, and further propagating the lie. We appreciate the NYT giving us this brief moment to defend ourselves.
The NYT mentioned us one other time, in a front page story, when Dave Eggers was exposed for anonymously lying about us on Amazon.com.
Years ago Eggers called for an end to rivalry in the Lit Scene. He's on top and wanted the contest frozen where it was. He clearly understands that relevance comes from the free play of ideas and art. He doesn't want this. He wants the status quo -- with him holding the bag. Rivalry can be good, it can be fun. So can inclusiveness.
The game is still in play! And ULA fans still say that US lit would be helped by including folk writing and populism. US lit is in big trouble! It's losing marketshare and relevance. It's in panic mode, in fact. eBooks are seen as a major threat. The gatekeepers are losing. Where will it end? Drama!
People forget that abstract modernism and postmodernism have political aspects. Of course, this is taught but its application to teaching, the arts and literature -- to academia and arts marketing -- is glossed over. There's a reason why detail, style, tone, structure are studied to the exclusion of all else. There's a reason why content is passe' and gauche. But we're grown-ups now. Just because Stalin used Social Realism doesn't mean that the real world should be shut out of art. Just because Hilter praised the Volk doesn't mean that trailerpark residents can't write in a way that the general public can appreciate and be challenged by. Just because challenging writing risks change and power transitions naturally want to be smoothly controlled by those already in power doesn't mean that this arrangement will be allowed to stand.
The US Lit Scene will only benefit and improve if voices from the people are included. The classroom and marketing office are not the only pathways to success behind the easel.
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