Friday, July 23, 2010


The theoretical infrastructure is in place to create a new literary art. But writers need the will to change the art.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


A huge advantage for me is that I’m from a city in turmoil like Detroit, where all comforts  and complacencies were destroyed. For years, as auto companies and accompanying businesses declined, people were told, “Change or die.” I learned to reinvent myself just to survive. I’ve gone through six or seven “careers.” I’m not tied to being a writer, much less a particular kind of writer. Zeenster, essayist, activist, poet, promoter, performer, fiction writer—I try to do it all. (Then again, many think I’m not a writer at all.)

The lit game will change drastically. Writers need flexibility about their art and themselves, if they’re to negotiate their small ships through difficult shoals.

Monday, July 5, 2010

How I Write Pop

1.) A basic plot.
2.) Clear, readable prose, but with colors added so the effect resembles a pop painting.
3.) A willingness to deliberately use recognizable plot motifs; "cliches" used ironically or not ironically.
4.) Everything exaggerated a touch to add melodrama and intensity.

I haven't found the right mix yet but I'll keep trying.

Give 'Em What They Want!

I wish underground writers would get into their heads the realization of how much opportunity there is out there. Best selling novels should be selling 30 million copies or more. Right now "Literature" is hitting a tiny fraction of the American public-- mainly because the literary product sucks. (See recent stories in The New Yorker.) You know potential is out there when a goofball like Glenn Beck tops the best-seller list with a tossed-off novel-- largely bought no doubt by folks who aren't reading David Foster Wallace.

We're a nation of 300 million people. Give people a truly exciting, readable product and they'll flock to it. You might need a few things that current lit writers scorn-- like narrative drive and striking characters, as well as a glance or two at the real world. Writers, of course, would need to put aside their egos and-- gasp!-- write for an audience. The writers who do that with talent and the right promotion will be ten times bigger than the literary world is now.

More Movies

I'll finish what I was saying about Western movies a little later. Critical standards are crucially important-- flawed standards leads to flawed art.