Monday, January 5, 2009


This new movie about German resistance to Hitler was better than I expected. It speaks to the literary Resistance of now in that it's about a conspiracy against a conspiracy.
Parallels abound. American literature was highjacked in the 1950's; its great history distorted and its path diverted.

In October 2000 a tiny band of underground zeensters-- the most shut-out of writers-- plotted to recapture American literature. What was amazing was how much we accomplished against enormous odds.

Given the more peaceful field of conflict, our opponents were as ruthless as Nazis (I'm being marginally hyperbolic), led by a cult-like figure receiving unthinking obedience from his followers. American literature today is dominated by a well-selected Overclass which propagates, through journals like McSweeney's and N+1, jargon-filled bureaucratic writing so intentionally hostile to the public it could be written in another language.

All members of the literary Resistance, past, present, and future, should see "Valkyrie" for its lessons about rebellion: That once action is begun it must be carried through in organized fashion without hesitation, with no turning back, if there's to be a chance of success. The lesson of the film is that even if resistance ends in defeat it must be carried out regardless, to show that not all were obedient automatons. For writers especially, for this period of lit to have relevance, we must show we weren't sheep; that some of us believed the art could again become purposeful, relevant, and democratic.


Toast said...

Hey, King, maybe you could take the Valkyrie template all the way and get yourself killed.

Also, the initials of this blog H(appy) A(merica) L(iterature) are pretty suspicious. Are you actually a giant computer surveillance machine gone mad that wants to destroy all other beings other than itself?

terminal said...

Such action movie make me feel fine last week end I went on to see this movie Valkyrie I have seen it. Tom is not my favorite actor but my buddy took me to. I thought it may not that much attractive. In the mean time watching the movie my total view of tom change because in this movie I saw him as very much characteristic person. I do feel his performance add more attraction to movie. Saw it on with lot of joy.