THE POSITIVE MESSAGE OF NEW AMERICAN ART AND LITERATURE

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Trade-Off

With the right plan we could achieve amazing things. Not a doubt in my mind. BUT, to do so means going full-bore all the way. It's why I'm presenting the commitment angle up front. This would in no way be easy.
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(It's likely I won't find the right pieces for a new strategy. No biggie. I concede that with the ULA, despite great early success, I ultimately failed. This causes hesitation.
As fallback I have a go-it-alone plan ready.)

5 comments:

Pat_King said...

It seems a bit premature to talk about commitment before terms/goals are clearly defined.

I'm interested in exactly what is meant by "Pop Stories." It makes a big difference if by "pop" you mean popular or populist, or a combination of the two? If you mean populist or a combination of popular and populist, then there is a rich and diverse tradition from which to draw from. Surrealism, Beat, Hippie literature as well as the Chicago Rebel Worker group all qualify. The Surrealist aesthetic shares some things in common with Beat lit but is more esoteric. Still, the idea of writing as something that is used to liberate "the people" is as much a core value of Surrealism as Beat or even IWW hobohemian literature from the likes of T-Bone Slim and others. Would populist lit exclude more esoteric aesthetics like those of the surrealists?

These are things that I thing need to be clearly defined before any serious talk of commitment could be discussed at least on my part.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

I've asked writers to define "pop" through their art. The great thing about the word is that so many things key off it, as you point out. There's room for a lot of variety-- in fact, way more variety than the literary story.
Read the current "Best" American Stories collection and the works are all of a piece. All domesticated in outlook and tone, overwritten, and boring.
The one thing I want from pop are stories that are reader-friendly. I want them written for the reader-- not for an imagined creative writing instructor.
I want them dramatic, or funny, or in some way over-the-top.
Plotting is desired.
I want them to have some kick to them.
Good opening, close, and a kick.
But keep an eye on what's coming on the pop blog.
Next up is a well-made Brady Russell story.
Then one of mine that's pretty standard.
Then I'll be throwing up some of my over-the-top stuff, which I hope come across as colorful as I've tried to make them.
I ran into Lee Klein on the street today, and tried to get him to realize that I look at literature from a marketing standpoint.
In this regard-- we HAVE to stand out.
(I've got a short post about this going up here.)

Frank Marcopolos said...

For me, it's the abandonment of post-modernism and post-post-modernism, etc etc as exemplified by David Foster Wallace/Dave Eggers/JS Foer...

It means going back to plot-driven storytelling, which doesn't mean the narrative has no flavor, but that the stories have meaning and power to them in some way.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

Meaning can be conveyed THROUGH plot. A narrative can represent many things, including a journey into the subconscious.
This is what Jung and Freud both stated about the "pop" Rider Haggard novel "She."
Btw, the arrogance of postmodernists like Lee is amazing. The key to their thinking is that they don't WANT to write for the general public. Exclusivity is everything to them-- and so their works are almost intentionally bad, or at least unreachable, to achieve this.

Frank Marcopolos said...

On the post-modernists, yes, I recall reading where Wallace actually said he writes to help him with his depression -- which would be cool if he didn't publish his therapeutic stuff. Same goes for the rest of that crowd. If it's not FOR anyone, why are you publishing? (So they can pick up girls at the cool parties, I gather.)

On plot, I agree 100%, with the very small proviso that the reader ALSO, at the same time, must be engaged emotionally to make him/her care about the plot and its meaning.