HELLO! We’ve revived our book review/book chat blog to feature a brilliant review by Ross Taylor, of an amazing new book by avant-garde musician Robyn Hitchcock.
Ever since John Lennon mentioned marmalade skies (or since Robert Johnson said a woman is like a dresser) songwriters have embraced modernist jive. Robyn Hitchcock hasn’t chased the spotlight as much as some, but he has been a serious and hilarious practitioner of said jive since before punks walked the earth. His lyrics have always had the violent density of poets. . . .
(We’re also looking for other top-notch short reviews or very short essays. Contact us at newpoplitDOTgmailDOTcom if you have an idea for one.)
p.s. Also check out the latest post at our News blog– “Where’s the Literary Underground?”
(Painting: “Woman Reading” by Henri Matisse.
OUR OP-ED PAGE RETURNS
We are a free speech literary site. Which means an ability and willingness to express dissenting opinions. This includes dissenting opinions about literature.
TODAY we bring back our opinion page as an outlet, we hope, for a variety of opinions and criticism from all directions about today’s literary world and the products of that world. Starting with a biting review by G.D. Dess of Ben Lerner’s much-hyped novel, The Topeka School.
Holden’s voice echoes in your mind long after you put down the novel, whereas Adam’s voice becomes inaudible the minute you turn the last page.
(Art: “Brooklyn Bridge” by Joseph Stella, created 100 years ago.)
WE EXPECT New Pop Lit to eventually be a worldwide phenomenon, so we’re not averse to spotlighting writers from around the world. We’ve published or presented writers from UK, Germany, Poland, Canada, Malta, Italy, Belarus, Spain, Israel, Switzerland– and we’ve had readers on every continent, with the possible exception of Antarctica.
Today we present new fiction, “The Major,” by renowned Russian author Vladimir Kozlov, translated by Andrea Gregovich. Worth reading for its realism but also to see what’s happening in other literary scenes.
“Well, I have evidence not only that you’ve seen it before, but that you were directly involved in its creation. Do you know what this is called?
“A comic book, I guess.”
“It’s called ‘spreading deliberately false fabrications to defame the Soviet state and social order.’ Article seventy-two of the Criminal Code for the BSSR. I can also pull up Article 58-10: ‘Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.’”
BUT, at the same time we also present a New Pop Lit review of Mr. Kozlov’s entire new short story collection, 1987 and Other Stories, of which “The Major” is part.
ONLY at New Pop Lit. Always at the literary forefront.
(Painting: “Blue Crest” by Wassily Kandinsky.)
NEO-BEAT IN BOOKS AND POETRY
Cool, daddy-o. Like, wowsville, man. Dig it. Can the lip and cast an eyebrow at this.
THE LAST literary movement to become a phenomenon in the general culture, at least here in America, was the Beat movement created and popularized by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and many other luminaries. The movement, the look, the sound, the slang, became mythicized and satirized in movies, magazines, and television programs. It influenced a host of artistic people, including Bob Dylan and the Beatles. In addition to their own literary works, the Beats and their milieu became subplots in novels from mainstream authors– see Alison Lurie’s chronicle of California in the early Sixties, The Nowhere City. Not to mention usual suspects like Joan Didion and Norman Mailer.
IT’S STILL WITH US! As a current of authentic English-language culture, the Beat sensibility never left. It played a strong role in the zine scene of the 1990’s when the print underground was alive and all young writers striving for reality were self-publishing, free thinking and doing free form living.
Which brings us to our review of a new collection of the best underground writing NOW, Howls From the Underground: An Anthology from Screamin’ Skull Press. To know what’s taking place beneath the monolithic towers of the conglomerates you must read the review then purchase the anthology.
SIMULTANEOUSLY we present here new beat vibes from neo-Beat U.K. poet beat56. Get the bongos and fall in.
Full of codeine and dreams and poems
the poet soon finds that the world has not
blossomed yet and his flowers and ambrosia blooms
like a beautiful sunrise. . . .
YES, the sun also rises and we also write book reviews– they’re found at our Book Chat blog aka NewPopLitExtra. We’ve posted several interesting reviews (and one interview) the past few months. Currently we have a review of a short-but-dynamic book/pamphlet named Police Stories with an easily obtained freebie at the end of it.
CHECK IT OUT!
“—vivid photographic proof that evil had taken on a new definition for me, that my understanding of true evil had, in just a few brief seconds, made a horrifying leap from assumption to reality.”
(Painting: “Miss Auras, The Red Book” by Sir John Lavery.)
ANOTHER YEAR and this project is still going. A victory in itself.
What do we have planned for the New Year?
Many ideas are on the New Pop Lit drawing board. The trick will be implementing them. This will take time, resources, opportunity and energy. Not lacking is will. Keep watching– one never knows what we’ll be up to.
In the meantime read our latest book review, on the futuristic Robin Wyatt Dunn poem-novel Debudaderrah.
* * * *
(Painting: “The City” by Fernand Leger.)
OUR CHIEF INTEREST is in finding writing which pushes against the acceptable boundaries of the establishment literary/publishing world– and which blurs the lines between the “literary” and “pop.” Toward that end we’ve published work by new writers like Andrea Gregovich, and interviewed more established authors like John Colapinto, if their artistic interests in some way converge with ours.
With our new feature we bring both tracks together, as Andrea Gregovich reviews John Colapinto’s controversial novel Undone. Offbeat personality reviewing a different kind of offbeat personality? It’s a feature not to be missed.
Here’s the thing about the much-maligned male gaze, though: every now and again it hits upon something real.
(Remember to stay current with our Fun Pop Poetry feature.)