Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Art

It’s unrealistic for anyone to demand or expect that I write the revolutionary new literary work. I came late to the field. The first real writing I produced was for a union newsletter. A couple years after that, when working for a commodity trader, I put out an investment newsletter. Only after that failed did I examine the literary game, becoming a small-time player at it by accident.

What I brought to the table was a new perspective on the art. I’d charted—by hand—hundreds of commodity moves. I’d gained some sense of how cycles operate, and of when a commodity—or art—was up too high, and when one was down. I saw literature as stagnant. Today it’s even more stagnant. It remains in need of a rebound.

I said at the outset that I was a precursor. A wannabe promoter looking for writers to promote. I was a voice in the wilderness—a ranting crazy person, which is how I appeared of late I’m sure to some of the HTML folks. I sought what I called a “Zeen Elvis.” My own goal was to be a Sam Phillips or Berry Gordy Jr. or Brian Epstein or Andrew Loog Oldham.

Look—the art isn’t good enough. It has to be different. Solipsism, or convoluted postmodernism, or narrow realism, or shitty surrealism—none of that goes anyplace from a marketing standpoint. What’s needed is a James Patterson with more skill, more intelligence, and more emotion. (I haven’t read Patterson, so I’m guessing at his kind of work.)

I know this: the writer today who can create new literary art—striking pop—will be the biggest American writer ever. That I’m sure of. I’d think that’d be enough incentive to abandon your old modes of thought.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What Is Talent?

THE VOICE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT, anonymous commenter "Harland" at my DemiPuppets blog, has a very different idea of what talent is than I do.

When I ran the ULA I looked at writers as a scout would view athletes. I looked for natural writing talent-- writing energy, a unique view of the world, and the spark of life. A james Nowlan has these qualities in spades. One can always clean up his typos! What's key are the other qualities a writer like that brings to the table.

Well-trained workshop writers are merely well-trained. They know all the rules, like automaton basketball players, but there's no excitement to their game.

I continue to believe that my way is the way to beat the mainstream.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bill Haley in 1953

AN OBJECT LESSON is to listen to Joe Turner’s “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” and Bill Haley’s “Crazy Man Crazy.” Haley’s was jazzier, hipper, and more fun. The difference is that Haley was consciously creating a product. He remade his music in the same way he remade himself from a cowboy singer into, briefly, the hippest cat around.

The key thing Haley did to turn rhythmn and blues into pop was to speed up the pace. This immediately made the music attention-getting—a punch in the face. (The punks did the same thing to recharge rock in the 1970’s.)

One can recharge prose in the same way.