Friday, October 21, 2005

that article link i posted yesterday about the marcus-franzen debate made me go out and get the harper's to read all of ben's article for myself, and, while the slate writer was trying for balance, and though i left the harper's at home today in my just-woke-up-5-minutes-before-leaving-the-house morning this morning, i've read 3 pages out of 13 so..opinions. perhaps the slate writer is reacting to that marcusonian pith that is, well, what gets heard over all the poets who perenially mutter the same argument, that writing that engages language on more than one register isn't created out of contempt for readers, rather it does so under the hopeful assumption that there are readers out there who like to read something with a little more depth, texture, substance, abstraction, artfulness, whathaveyou than the daily newspaper or its slightly taller cousin: mainstream fiction. as a poet, i look onto the whole debate with my nose smudging the glass, a little envious, since poetry doesn't even have registerable economic that can get its parallel argument to matter to such relatively large audience, i.e. the followers of fiction. and while it seems like primarily an aesthetic statement marcus is making, there's an implicit hope (like dalkey archive press hopes) that legions of american readers who buy books off the tables that are placed right by the front doors of borders, readers who don't fancy themselves any sort of writer at all but just like to read, will catch the experimental fiction wave and give writers like renee gladman the same chance at making a viable living as jennifer wiener. or is this argument just passe?


Post a Comment

<< Home