Edge Culture, Sharper Literature

Announcement

A REMINDER that when we choose to we can push the edges of the usual, if not the acceptable, as far as anyone, due to our underground roots and DIY from-the-bottom viewpoint on all things cultural.

AS EXAMPLE we have our recently-posted feature story, “Cat Doctor” by mysterious on-the-arts-margins D.C. Miller, holding a mirror up to the clean and smug of today’s approved intellectual world.

THEN there’s our newly-placed book review of a new work by indie press figure Tony Nesca at our book chat blog.

FINALLY we have our ongoing Open Mic, with a reading of a striking poem by Brian Eckert along with other dynamic spoken word performances– with more to come.
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(Art: “Accolade” by Edmund Blair Leighton.)

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POP LIT Carnival!

Announcement

A LITERARY CARNIVAL full of sights, sounds, and mental stimulation is what we offer for you the unwary reader. DO NOT simply dawdle on this page and scurry away. Remain for a time. Take off your shoes. Sit back and relax. Explore the many options we have available for your time-spending pleasure.

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CHIEF among them at the moment is the Writers Combine happening NOW as part of our exclusive coverage of the All-Time American Writers Tournament. At the moment we’re featuring some truly big names, giant talents, enormous personalities– such as Count Leo Tolstoy and Ernest Hemingway. WHO ELSE but New Pop Lit has the futuristic technology to bring these legends alive??

tolstoy2(The Count.)
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You want storytelling? WE HAVE IT!— the best new fiction on the planet, including our most recent tale, “Unraveling” by young writer Tianna Grosch.

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You want audio? Spoken word poetry-mixed-with-comedy? Yes! Enter through this doorway– where you may find a well-known but deceased celebrity, with whose voice we’ve taken a few liberties.

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Book reviews? NO ONE presents more stunning reviews of more striking and provocative literary works– the kind of books literary critics will be discussing fifty years from now, if not this moment. Future literary Gauguins and Van Goghs. Read about those here.

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Politics? Do you really have to read about politics? If you insist-– we even have politics! Or at least, reports on a politicized publishing scene and politicized intellectual journals. From us you receive, at our NPL News blog, the real story– what takes place behind the scenes.

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Scout around at our links and drop-down on this page and you’ll discover other fascinating and bizarre sights and happenings. Spend the day!

We ARE the most exciting literary site.
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(Featured painting: “Circus” by August Macke.)

New Pop Lit KO’s the Competition!

Announcement

WE’VE ADDED New York City journal The Baffler to our knockout victims. See our analysis of that strangely esteemed magazine. In response to the seriousness of our points, to date the Baffler‘s editors have not been able to say anything.

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At the same time we have an Open Mic feature going– which we promise to keep entertaining.

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Kicking things off: “Kate Hepburn” reads a poem penned by one of our favorite writers. Listen to the recording. Let us know what you think.

Next week: New fiction.
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(Art by George Bellows.)

Pop Lit: An Anti-Political Movement

Announcement

EVERYONE right now seems to have a cause or political movement, colored red, pink, purple, blue, or green, or is hysterically running around with signs about something. Mad ideologies from antifa to alt-right and all things in-between. There are dozens– maybe hundreds– of flavors of Marxism alone, whether Maoist, Leninist, Stalinist, Shigalovian, Trotskyite, Fabian (not the 50’s rock star); social democrat or democratic socialist; mixed with scores of identities of the academic pomo crowd– and at least as many varieties on the right. Cue the propaganda– the bots and printing presses are working overtime.

Far be it for us to miss a trend– so we’ve started our own movement. We reject ALL political cults and sects and invite those seeking change, dissatisfied with things as-they-are, the status quo, the Establishment, the established order and alternatives to the established order, cable and network news shows all of them as well as BBC propaganda biopics about queens and history dramas about Vikings, to unite together under our banner of POP LIT.

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OUR FOUR-POINT PROGRAM

1.)  We’re not a party but we like to party.

2.)  Ideologues are androids.

3.)  The only revolution that matters is the revolution of art. (The word art used broadly.)

4.)  The way to access the creativity of the universe is by being creative.

The only requirement to join our movement is that you enjoy reading.

(Send your writings and paintings to us. If we like them we’ll use them.)

-Karl and Kathleen
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(Featured art: “Composition with Two Figures” by Heinrich Campendonk.)

 

Prizes, Pushcarts and Other Fronts

Announcement

We’ve announced our nominations for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. Read about our choices and reasons here at our News blog.
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ALSO read our latest book review at our book review feature– this of a collection of short fiction by award-winning author Kelly Cherry.
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A new feature story is upcoming.

The Populist Alternative

Announcement

(Featured painting: “Festival” by Daniel Celentano c/o Smithsonian.)

We’re not just an alternative to an embalmed establishment literary scene that’s artistically frozen in time. We’re the alternative to the alternatives. We offer the only possible way to unite antagonists on all sides to revive the literary art. We believe in the need for uniquely American literature– art which helps define and give voice to this land and people. We reject fragmented culture– the constant cultural warfare which those highly placed above the fray seem to want.

We present instead to readers and writers our banner of POP!

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A populist ethos is one aspect– not the only aspect– of pop literature. Pop Lit!
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As evidence of our dedication to American lit we’re presenting the All-Time American Writers Tournament. Latest happening there is the #4 Seeds announcement. Upcoming are profiles of J.D. Salinger, Misty Copeland(?), Mary Gaitskill, Ayn Rand, Henry Miller, Saul Bellow-versus-Herman Wouk, and many more of our literature-and-culture’s brightest stars. Plus official choices for #5 Seeds.
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We also believe in giving you news about the literary world. Stories and scandals which no one else in literature today will touch. The newest post at our News blog is “The Lit Scene Now,”  — first part of a revealing analysis of the literary business, examining current players and real motivations. Not to be missed!

Pop lit is alive and well!

1934 Reginald Marsh (American artist, Locomotives, Jersey City, 1934
(Painting: “Locomotive, Jersey City” by Reginald Marsh c/o Smithsonian.)

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.)