REVAMPING THE SHORT STORY ART
WHY do we illustrate this post with the famous painting of Gertrude Stein by Pablo Picasso?
BECAUSE with her innovative writing style, Gertrude Stein kicked off one of those period attempts to reinvent writing. This effort had its greatest effect via Stein protege Ernest Hemingway, whose collection of short fiction, In Our Time, at the time revolutionized the short story art.
There is always a push-pull where the short story is concerned. Creators and innovators like Hemingway (or Gordon Lish and his minimalist friends Raymond Carver and Susan Minot in the 1980’s and 90’s) attempt to breathe new life into the form– only to see their efforts counteracted by the stodgy mindset represented by prestigious Iowa-style writing programs and The New Yorker magazine– which some would say are the same thing.
WE at New Pop Lit would like to kick off a round of short fiction innovation. Toward that end we are doing two things:
1.) Beginning what we call The Short Story Process— a creative procedure through which we hope to arrive at the promised land of a reinvented art.
2.) Spotlighting new writers whose work in subject or style colors outside the lines of the artistically acceptable, the bourgeois, the already done. Toward that end we present a new story, “Ain’t Worth a Dollar,” by Atticus Davis, who writes under the name Savage Ckhild, a handle that may say it all.
She’s sitting in the car with her hair tied up, I forget how beautiful she is, I always think I’m going to be immune to her, to them—so she smiles this unblemished smile, that lasts one second before it collapses into this miserable, needy, fearful smile. I feel guilty for being here.
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.
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??
You want storytelling? WE HAVE IT!— the best new fiction on the planet, including our most recent tale, “Unraveling” by young writer Tianna Grosch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(Featured painting: “Circus” by August Macke.)
Pynchon and Hemingway? Could two writers be more dissimilar, yet, as slightly cracked and original American authors, so much the same?
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.)
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.
NOW we’ve stepped into it! Two literary controversies at one time, both of them connected to the All-Time American Writers Tournament. (We’ve been offering exclusive coverage of the tourney here.)
FIRST is the seldom-discussed matter of T.S. Eliot. Where lies his allegiance? America or Britain? Is Eliot considered a British poet– or an American one? Where should lie our allegiance? Contribute to the discussion, if you dare– should you care– here.
SECOND, we believe we’ve thrown new and historic light on the friendship between the two biggest names in American literary history, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. How deep went their feud? WAS Scott a passive actor– a simple punching bag; on the receiving end of Ernest’s shots and scorns– as our nation’s most esteemed lit critics seem to believe? Or did Fitzgerald get his shots in against one-time protégé Hemingway– not once, but twice?
Are we prepared to take on the entire U.S. lit-crit establishment over this issue?
Read about the matter here.
State-of-the-art thinking about writing and writers, letters and words, only at New Pop Lit.
(Public domain image of Ritz Bar in Paris with photo of Scott Fitzgerald.)
We end our July-long celebration with an apocryphal(?) little tale about young Ernest Hemingway’s days in northern Michigan, at our Detroit Literary blog. It’s not much of a feature, admittedly– but does give us the opportunity to catch up on reading submissions and planning future happenings.
If you haven’t already, be sure to read our big Hemingway discussion, which features commentary about Ernest Hemingway’s reputation today by a wide variety of noteworthy writers and critics. We’ve received nothing but positive feedback about this feature. Well worth rereading.
Upcoming are profiles about, and new writing by, many of America’s most exciting writers. Our chief mission is to discover the next Hemingway; i.e., the next important American literary icon. THIS is the place where new ideas about literature are happening.
Today is July 21, birthday of the person who remains America’s most famous writer (counter-arguments invited): Ernest Hemingway. The man was born in 1899– he was a millennial of a different kind. If alive today he’d be 117 years old. His words remain very alive, so we hope you’ll join us in celebration.
First, read the Answers to our big Hemingway Question. Respondents include a few literary critics and a score of outstanding writers.
Next, scroll down the New Pop Lit home page and see what else we’ve done to honor the big guy the last few weeks. If you’re a fan of reading and literature, you’ll enjoy all of it.
Keep up on the day’s activities via our twitter account, @NewPopLit
(Go easy on the absinthe. Don’t overdo the partying!)
Our month-long tribute to Hemingway continues with five short pieces by Jess Mize– a very talented young American writer, as Ernest Hemingway was once a very talented young American writer. Let the celebration continue!
I thought about death in the afternoon and how once, over half a century ago I was gored in the groin performing a sarcastic veronica and confident with the knowledge of money to come and the scent of arrogant Spanish wine by the pool in San Sebastian.
BECAUSE of his giant persona, Ernest Hemingway remains to us a mystery. Who was he? What was the impetus behind his writing– and his need to be a writer?
New Pop Lit’s editors recently journeyed to northern Michigan in search of answers. . . .
(Or, today we kick off our month-long Hemingway celebration! Read our write-up.)
Ernest Hemingway spent much time in Petoskey when he returned from his service in World War I. His story “Soldier’s Home” indicates that he felt out-of-sorts with his family and Oak Park neighborhood. So he escaped– fleeing to where the air was clean. In northern Michigan. He could refresh his thoughts. He could also write.
That’s what we have planned for the month of July anyway. Toward that end, New Pop Lit‘s editors drive up this weekend to Petoskey and environs in northern Michigan, looking for the ghost of Nick Adams. Searching for the elusive roots of “Papa” and his literary art.
Why Hemingway, you ask?
Because Ernest Hemingway was American literature’s greatest pop icon– the last writer whose persona was huge enough to overshadow other pop celebrities of his time– from movie actors to sports figures to pop singers. Sinatra, Gable, Dempsey, DiMaggio– Hemingway was a bigger cultural figure than any of them.
What do we have planned?
-Photos and descriptions of our Petoskey excursion.
-Answers to our second Big Lit Question, which concerns Ernest the Hem. See this.
-New work from two talented young writers, Samuel Stevens and Jess Mize, which if not completely Hemingway themed, is Hemingway inspired.
Our objective in presenting these two striking talents is to recreate some of the excitement that occurred when young Hemingway himself began writing, in his twenties, in the 1920’s– likely the most exciting American literary decade.
-Plus any and all other Hemingway ideas and stuff we can come up with and implement in coming weeks.
You will not want to miss ANY of it!
At NPL, we’re trying to revive reader-centered writing; writing that’s written for readers. But what does that mean? NPL editor Andrea Nolen explores this question in our latest addition to the Opinion page, How to Tell Stories to Children.
One of my favorite books on writing isn’t technically about writing at all, it’s titled How to Tell Stories to Children, by Sara Cone Bryant. Bryant was a storyteller– someone who told stories to live audiences. She would travel from school to school treating children to Aesop’s Fables, The Brothers Grimm and the like.
Sometimes the children weren’t well-behaved and many of Bryant’s insights came from figuring out how to get the kids’ attention despite themselves. Bryant was working in the early twentieth century, but today, when a reader’s attention is distracted by their iPhone, laptop and whatever else, authors face the same problem. How do we engage readers? How do we tell stories for readers?
Thank you to amazon.com for cover image.