Hemingway and Pynchon?

Announcement

Pynchon and Hemingway? Could two writers be more dissimilar, yet, as slightly cracked and original American authors, so much the same?

PYNCHON APPRECIATED
First, see the latest Appreciation, this one by D. Greenhorn, at the All-Time American Writers Tournament.

HEMINGWAY DAY REVISITED
Second, as today is Ernest Hemingway’s 118th birthday, we invite readers to partake again of last year’s festivities, with discussion of his reputation here, and our “Searching for Hemingway” travelogue here. (An Appreciation of Hem by Samuel Stevens is upcoming next week.)
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We have much new stuff upcoming, including terrific new fiction from Clint Margrave, Wred Fright, Anne Leigh Parrish, and other familiar and unfamiliar names. Plus other surprises.

Until then, enjoy July– when dogs are sleeping, editors are lazy, and everyone should be reading New Pop Lit, the stay-cool literary site.

By Dictate or Argument?

Announcement

SO MUCH of what’s considered literature today is run by dictate, that we hope at some point with the All-Time American Writers Tournament to do things differently.

The recent Granta issue of “Young American Novelists” is an example. Four well-placed judges decided the matter– then word came down from on high. “You WILL accept these selections culled mainly from those given us by the Big 5 conglomerate book companies.”

It’s how the system is run and how it’s always been run. Tops-down in every aspect. The professor tells you, “You WILL appreciate these authors, no matter how stuffy, irrelevant, meaningless, or boring they may be.”

Recent p.c. changes in the university have scarcely altered this– only the names mandated to be appreciated have changed.

The student, like the hapless consumer of Granta, has no say. The decision runs always, always one way.

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As many have noted, the situation, in academia and the greater intellectual community, has become ever more totalitarian. There is one accepted ideology. One acceptable set of ideas. One way of thinking.

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We’ll be setting up our brackets for the Tournament with a new mix, according to our best judgment and the standards we’ve outlined– but we don’t pretend to have all the answers. We’d like to receive throughout the course of the Tournament suggestions and arguments about which writers should be included– from writers, general readers, and elite critics alike. If “literature” is to be a living thing and not just an authoritarian dictate, names and ideas should come from everybody.

The All-Time American Writers Tournament will be at our Interactive blog, previously used for fun stuff and pop poetry. (Which we’ll still sneak in on occasion.) Here’s format information. Here’s other tourney info.

We’re at newpoplit AT gmail.com.

#1 seeds are upcoming. . . .

March Literary Madness?

Announcement

AMERICA is captivated by the ongoing NCAA basketball tournament. Office pools choosing winners and losers have made their picks. Tremendous interest in the sport thereby generated.

What if there were a writers tournament?

And so, we’ll soon begin at this site the semi-fictional “All-Time American Writers Tournament,” pitting novelists against playwrights against poets to decide WHO is the best of them all.

Would such a tournament work?

Only if others contribute– in aligning the brackets and judging the contests.

Hemingway against Updike? Mary McCarthy versus Joyce Carol Oates? It could be competitive and fun.

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The question arises: IS there such thing as American literature?

The nation was far into its history before its literature was taken seriously by the rest of the world– only when it became the true voice of the land and the people; ALL the American people. It’d be crazy to throw that away.

Our literature has been expressed through a diverse collection of writers who are uniquely American. Melville to Millay. Emerson to Ellison. Beecher Stowe to Maya Angelou.

Stay tuned.

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(We’ll also be getting back to our other ongoing feature, “Hyper-Talents of the New Literary Age,” very soon.)

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(Artwork by Jacques-Louis David.)

 

Who We Are

Announcement

As we prepare a couple big new features, and simultaneously wade through increasing numbers of submissions to the New Pop Lit “In” box, it might be time to again give readers information on ourselves and what we’re about.

Our roots are in the DIY print-zine movement. We believe in  art that’s organic, from the ground, the people, up, not imposed by inflexible institutions from on high. We support the democratization of literature. We are not status quo. We’re a new forum of literary opinion.

We believe in the importance of art. That fulfillment can be found through art.

We believe in literature and we believe in the uniqueness of American literature.

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At present New Pop Lit is run by a long-time promoter of underground “zine” writing gone legitimate, combined with a Detroit-area writer, Chicago-trained, who’s been involved in the worlds of design and fashion. We combine style, sense, and attitude.

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Currently we’re looking for parodists willing to do short takeoffs on famous American writers, for a feature due to run this March. Already taken: Norman Mailer; Emily Dickinson; Jack Kerouac. We have a half-assed version of Hemingway. Every version of Hemingway is a half-assed version 🙂

For more information email us at newpoplit@gmail.com

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Read our review of Alex Bernstein’s Plrknib at our News blog.

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A new short story from an exciting writer runs this Friday. Don’t miss it!

(Image: “The Painter on the Road to Tarascon” by Vincent van Gogh.)

Year-End Wrap-Up

Announcement

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The first task of any upstart literary outfit is to survive. We’ve accomplished this for another year– but we want more. In 2017 we plan to give you more. A lot more.

In the meantime, read our year-end  review News Report of our 2016 activities at our News blog.

Also be sure to read our final Fun Pop Poem of 2016, “Exploitation of Subtlety” by multi-talented artist/writer Dan Nielsen.

Thanks to one and all!

 

Pushcart Time

Announcement

OUR PUSHCART PRIZE NOMINATIONS

All Hail Pushcart! Yes, we’re one of the many small literary outfits who applaud the Pushcart Prize collections– though we have reservations. To discover what they are, and at the same time find out which works we nominated for the annual awards this year, read this.

Have we missed the boat this year with our picks? Are we all wet? Living in Fantasyland? Let us know!

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This week we’ve also kicked off a can’t miss Cat Poetry Festival at our Fun Pop Poetry feature, here.

New Pop Lit Speaks

Announcement, Events, News

Attention All Writers!

Especially if you live in the Detroit area. New Pop Lit editors Karl Wenclas and Kathleen Crane will be doing a presentation for NaNoWriMo at the Troy Public Library on 11/17. Details at our News page here.

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ALSO, we’re still promoting our Fun Pop Poetry feature. We have several cat poems coming up and we’re shy at least one good cat photo. Send your candidates in .jpg format to funpoppoetry@gmail.com. Thanks!

(Cat photo c/o Scott Cannon– same cat to be featured in a new poem.)

 

Poetry Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Announcement

We’re serious about moving in a strong way into the genre of poetry. The classic art has been marginalized by the academy; kept alive by hip-hop and open mics. As always, we aim for a fusion of the two types.

POETRY YESTERDAY

October 17 is the birthday of Sylvia Plath, whose dark vision in its mix of craft and passion in the last years of her life was a high point of American poetry. After her death, the form abandoned its sense of music and euphony.

An exception to this abandonment happened in Liverpool, England in the early 1960’s. We’ve discovered a pop poetry movement centered in that industrial city– at the same time a group of moptop musicians began making waves with a unique brand of pop music. We’ll have a report on this, upcoming.

POETRY TODAY

At our News blog, we take an entertaining glance at the five poets named last week as finalists for the National Book Award for Poetry. In fact, we grade them.

What’s our reaction to the Nobel Prize for Literature award to Bob Dylan? To us, it shows the failure of today’s poets to connect meaningfully with the general public– creating a vacuum which has been filled the past fifty years by popular troubadors like Bob Dylan. We say, give us not Bob Dylan but another Dylan Thomas!

POETRY TOMORROW

Our fledgling Fun Pop Poetry feature is a beginning, only that, to a true poetry revival– making the art accessible to everybody.

For a more serious version of pop poetry, in one week we’ll feature several poems from one of the best young poets we’ve seen– proving to us the future of poetry is very bright. Stay tuned to this literary station!

 

“Make It New!”

Announcement

A RANT

One of our discoveries in reading Lesley M.M. Blume’s book about Ernest Hemingway, Everybody Behaves Badly, is that Ezra Pound’s favorite expression was “Make it new.” Which has been our philosophy from the beginning of this ambitious project.

(We’ve labeled ourselves “The New New.”)

Being new involves connecting with the best new writers in America– particularly those unconnected to the embalmed established lit game, or who reject most of the moldy doctrines of institutional writing factories. Let’s face it, New York and its appendages produces not the New, but the Same-Old Same-Old.

Examination of last weekend’s establishment flagship the New York Times Book Review shows the editors still mired in postmodernism– which is a fine game to play in the obsolete academy but generates ZERO interest among the general population. Mainly because pomo literary works are often posturing nonsense and are almost always unreadable. (See Infinite Jest, which NYTBR was caught raving about for the 5,005th time. Showing their cred, I guess, among the hopelessly pretentious.)

We offer credibility of a different sort, as our editors come not from an ivory tower or the conglomerate machine– but from the gritty factories and clubs of Detroit.

We’ve lived in a tough world of intense energy far removed from faculty lounges and teacups. We know literature at its best is a visceral emotional experience for the reader. We aim to present new writing which connects emotionally to YOU every bit as much as any pop/punk/rock/rap song ever conceived.

This week we focus on our search, our quest– and on our backlog of necessary reading. We’re busy putting together a foundation to go new places as a literary experience. If you also seek to change literature, and thereby change the world: join us.

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By the way, we’ve asked one of our favorite young writers to review the Blume book. Why? Because we’re out to recapture the Fitzgerald/Hemingway literary excitement of 1925/26 which sustained American literature for decades, until the rise of pomo fakirs.

We’ll create that excitement in a 2016 way.

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Be sure to check out our new Fun Pop Poetry feature. Due to arrive next week– a nationally-renowned rhyming-and-witty poet.