|i read the
interview with you by the
guy who wrote the brick and i enjoyed it throughout but it got kind
of frustrating by the end. i thought you were both wrong about the "common
voice" thing. definitely, he was wrong to sort of demand that the internet
zine age cultivate a common voice or movement among its writers. but then
you sort of defeated his arguments by conflating "voice" with "narrative
style" and debunking the value of a bunch of writers sounding the same,
which is obviously agreeable. you touched briefly on the merits or lack
thereof of sort of political movement coming out of the period, which i
believe was closer to his intent, but then it delved into the style stuff.
now my complaint with you both is that i think it is irresponsible to sort
of demand artists in an age, a generation, or even a year "come together"
with a political or even aesthetic statement, especially when that desire
comes implicit with a kind of expectation about what sort of statement
that might be; but i also think (while wanting to encourage broad and inventive
diversities of style, voice, form, etc) it's impossible to consider a time
without an interest in the sort of dynamic fields within which writers
are operating and influencing and countering each other. clearly, at certain
arms of the realm of writing, writers are attacking particular questions
with respect to the art and existential place and political place of the
moment. while it's often easier to identify something like that in the
rear view (and i agree with you it doesn't necessarily make sense for artists
to make art with that future rear view in mind, nor is it usually good
to be focused on a present-day rear view when creating), i think there
is undoubtedly some sort of lunge going on. albeit, in this day of communication
and vastly widening opportunities for publication and cross pollination,
those lunges are far less single-pointed than the kind of artist clubs
and writer schools of the past. um, if it seems as though my points are
vague and sloppy, it's because i read that thing maybe a week ago (and
haven't bothered to reference it again) and in the mean time i was at the
belmont stakes getting perhaps as drunk as i've been over two days maybe
ever, and overhearing these snippets of trash-talk:
[at a urinal, man steps back]
Man: I'm the winner!
Friend: Winner? I'm still going!
[during a rousing game of beer pong, one side is railing on the other for its shared weight problem, calling out things like "gunt" "lard" "blimp" and naturally frustrating the big'uns]
Frustrated side: you're tossing the ball from way across the ledge! over the line!
Smack-talkers: We're not crossing the line, it's just your gravitational pull!
[girl, wearing a red and brown horizontally-striped shirt, walks by beer-pongers]
Girl: you suck!
Smack-talkers: You suck, Freddy Kreuger!
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