Sunday, September 26, 2010

Existing Outside the Narrow Viewpoint

The longer I study and try to understand the attitudes of people—the intellectual class in particular—the more I become convinced that we’re the product of our class, our upbringing, and the pressures of our education/indoctrination.

The intellectual class which so dominates the literary game is for the most part a genteel class of people, raised in relative comfort, surrounded by the markers of proper liberal behavior, which includes a climate of uncontentious intellectual consensus best represented by the slow-talking slow-thinking mandarin presentations of NPR. This is a far cry from the always loud always combative always unsteady lifestyles of much of the rest of society.

The literary class, then, is incapable of understanding the tones and tastes of the other 80-90% of us. Given the need to have specific strategies, they see things in terms of the established lit system, of how to accommodate themselves with it, whether gaining teaching positions in a college, or creating nonprofit publications removed from the competition of the marketplace. Their way of operating is directly opposite to the way upstart entrepreneurs in the pop music field still operate. Literary people operate as if their art were classical music. They limit themselves to 10% of the potential audience.

This creates unique opportunity for those who can see outside the bubble, who want to go after the rest of the population.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Winning and Losing Fiction

There are two types of short stories: A.) Pop Stories; B.) Literary Stories.

Type A dominated up until about 1940, when Type B took over through the rise of writing programs and elitist magazines like The New Yorker. After 1950 the idea of populist and popular fiction was devalued.

The period of the Pop short story was a period of success. From both the sales and artistic viewpoint the period of the literary short story has been one of unbroken failure.

The way to win at endeavors from picking stocks to sports betting is to understand which products are overvalued and which undervalued. Today’s literary system has overvalued the literary story. It’s all that’s being produced. Meanwhile, no one is writing the other kind of story. In other words, the Losing model is consistently followed. The Winning model isn’t being tried.

This sets up fantastic opportunity for those willing to jump at it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Basic Stuff

The writer, if he or she has talent, has an obligation to that talent. There’s no excuse in this day and age for not thinking of literature as a business, of yourself as an entrepreneur with a product to sell, namely, your work. The odds against the unconnected writer are tremendous. There are ways to even the odds, stray opportunities. They need to be grabbed at.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is There a Solution?

The supply/demand situation I sketch in the post below is a pessimistic one. There's really no point in being a writer. The set-up, if you want a meaningful number of people reading your work, is close to hopeless.

There is a solution-- but it takes the will to abandon everything about the status quo. It's what I was getting at with "pop." Everything would have to be done to distinguish new writers from the huge mass of the status quo. Not books-- but, Zeens-- or something. (Give me a name.) Not writers-- but popsters. (Or something.) Everything about the new art and the new practicioners of that art has to scream, "We're different!" Otherwise there's no chance.

For myself, I sense some strategic changes coming in society, so I'm changing, shifting, going more "populist" than before. Change or die! That's what the working class long has been told.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The contemporary literary system's house of cards could be collapsed with one good shove-- but it will take that shove.

Right now I'm looking for support against the system wherever-- wherever-- I can find it. That support isn't to be found where I've been looking, so I have to search elsewhere.

Here are the current trends which are approaching an extreme:


Trend: Down.


Trend: Down.


Trend: Down. (For all of these, going-out-of-business Down.)


Trend: Up.


Trend: Down.


Trend: Way Down.