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.)
AS WE WAIT to introduce to the world in one month the innovation we call the 3–D Short Story, we have a couple fictional works to present first. (As well as several new poems.) The two fictional works are different from the norm– in keeping with our 2019 mission to present new experiences to New Pop Lit readers.
The first of the two stories, by talented story writer Sophie Kearing, is “This Is.” We hope you enjoy it.
Every time she thinks about me, the skeletal digits of an invisible hand squeeze all the comfort from me like juice from a lemon. The hand keeps me firmly planted in the darkness, unable to reach any of the good feelings.
ALSO, we have a new post at our NPL News blog about the aforementioned 3–D Story– and whether critics of all varieties will be ready for it. Is literary change upon us? Maybe!
(Public domain art c/o stockfreeimages.com.)
THE STRUGGLES OF A WRITER can seem lonely indeed– often resulting in rejection and neglect. Yet they keep at it, pursuing their art because they believe it’s important to express truths about life and the world.
When those struggles find notice– and a sense that a reader gets it, understands what the work’s about, this keeps the writer (and in our case, editors) going. No, the effort expended was not for naught!
Christopher Landrum at the literary site Bookbread has examined here four recent short stories, three of which appeared at New Pop Lit. They are:
–“The Fetus” by Clint Margrave.
–“Eighty Pounds” by Jon Berger.
–“The Professor” by A.K. Riddle.
If you’ve read these three excellent tales, they’re worth rereading. If you haven’t, please do so! Then see what Mr. Landrum says about them.
(Art: “The Passion of Creation” by Leonid Pasternak; “Woman Writing” by Gerard ter Borch.)
(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!
A populist ethos is one aspect– not the only aspect– of pop literature. Pop Lit!
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.
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!
(Painting: “Locomotive, Jersey City” by Reginald Marsh c/o Smithsonian.)
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.)
Have people figured out what we’re up to?
We’re out to reinvent the American novel– and transform reading in so doing.
The All-Time American Writers Tournament is an ongoing novel– the novel as living entity– written in front of your eyes. Performed in real time across several platforms: twitter; website; blogs. Chief venue is here. The Tournament is part narrative, part criticism, part satire, and (hopefully) all fun.
The novel won’t survive as a vibrant and necessary art form unless it becomes as entertaining and immediate as possible. Our new kind of novel contains characters fictional and real. Living and dead.
A literary movie, in lights, STARRING:
Ernest Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, Scott Fitzgerald, Jack Kerouac, Maya Angelou, Norman Mailer, and a host of other literary stars.
WHO will win the Tournament? No one knows– yet.
Moreover, it’s a novel in which YOU can take part. We’re soliciting “Appreciations” of individual American writers of any type or variety. Five words to 250. (See our latest.) If you’re game and able, send yours in an email to newpoplitATgmail along with link or mini-bio.
At New Pop Lit the future begins NOW.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Read our review of Alex Bernstein’s Plrknib at our News blog.
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.)
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!)