WE DON’T KNOW if we’ll be the ones to punch a hole in the culture which talented-but-undiscovered writers can jump through. But we know someone will, and soon. There are too many outsider writers better than those in the established New York-based literary order for artistic upheaval not to occur.
That there needs to be alternate centers of literary and publishing activity to the New York monolith, in other parts of the country, is stating the obvious. The way to do this is by creating better literary products along with inexpensive ways of producing those products.
For us, it’s all or nothing. Breakthrough at some point or fold up shop.
Our chief tool to achieve our objectives is a new literary product which we’ve been calling–
THE 3–D SHORT STORY
When’s the last time someone seriously tried to reinvent one of the standard literary forms?
Allen Ginsberg did it with his poem “Howl.” A long time ago.
Gordon Lish tried to do it with his unique minimalist take on the short story as featured from 1987 to 1995 in his literary journal, The Quarterly— which included the likes of Amy Hempel, Mark Richard, Diane Williams, and many others.
A worthy attempt. But his writers and their writing were too restrained, too tame– they didn’t go nearly far enough with their aesthetics or their imaginations.
OUR attempt at Artistic Breakthrough begins on June 6th, 2019. Word will occur here as soon as one of the completed stories is posted. 3–D Day IS coming.
(Art: “New Planet” by Konstantin Yuon; “Streetlight” by Giacomo Bala.)
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.