Double Controversy

All-Time American Writers Tournament

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?

YES!

Read about the matter here.

State-of-the-art thinking about writing and writers, letters and words, only at New Pop Lit.
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(Public domain image of Ritz Bar in Paris with photo of Scott Fitzgerald.)

House Pets of Literature

News

“House pets” may be too strong a term to refer to the twenty-one American novelists featured in Granta magazine’s new issue. BUT, with one potential exception, none of the twenty-one is out to shock the literary establishment with contrary viewpoints– or with new ways of looking at the literary art. That’s left for upstart outfits like ourselves.

The London/New York literary establishments have marshaled their resources to stress the importance of this Granta issue. In the U.S., Slate, The Millions, The Center for Fiction, Library Journal, L.A. Times, Lit Hug; Lucas Wittmann, Laura Miller, Nick Moran, Barbara Hoffert, Michael Schaub, Carolyn Kellogg, Emily Temple; all the usual critical advocates– to the prestigious Guardian newspaper in the U.K. WE alone present the other side of things.

The key in this world is seeing issues and subjects three-dimensionally. One should never accept without question a flat presentation. What the mandarins of culture wish you to see. You might miss what’s really happening.

And so, at our News blog, our perspective on the Granta issue. Worth a look.

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Also, please consider your candidates for the All-Time American Writers Tournament. Who’s your choice? If you have one, or several, email us with a name or names, reasons, or rationalizations. We’re at newpoplit AT gmail.com.

Thanks!

(Cat photo c/o Jamie Lockhart.)

Interview with Samuel Stevens

Interview

New ideas.

Our mission here at New Pop Lit is to present exciting new ideas. No, we’re not a stale-and-stodgy business-as-usual literary site. We exist to CHANGE the literary scene. Change is inevitable. Change is sweeping. Change is part of nature and people. Constant. Onrushing.

Meanwhile, established literature operates as if it were still in the early 19th century. Tops-down, insular and clubby, promoting a literary art which changes at a turtle’s pace. (We give established literati enough credit not to call them snails.)

Where is literature going?

In our quest for answers we interview up-and-coming writer Samuel Stevens for our Hype page. Part of our showcasing the nation’s best new writers.

If you want to stay current on the future of books, publishing, and writing you have to read this site! As always, we welcome your feedback.

There’s definitely a shift in the zeitgeist. It’s just a very long battle. It’s not just “liberals” who limit free speech, you also have major corporations–the same ones mainstream conservatism loves to defend–love to push the same message.

 

Breaking into Publishing

Essay

Ideas! New Pop Lit is first and foremost a project of ideas. In a period when the public is demanding populist change, we advertise ourselves as literary change agents.

Toward that end we’re offering an essay by Samuel Stevens about publishing, outlining how writers who seek to change the literary art– who offer new aesthetic ideas– have often faced difficulties.

The critics of the day repudiated authors with mountains of literary criticism about them now. Names like Hemingway, Pound, Joyce, Eliot were at one time the enemy. Hemingway’s friend, the memory-holed author Robert McAlmon, published Three Stories and Ten Poems; the New York world wasn’t interested in the young Hemingway’s work. 

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Sam Stevens is included in our first “Lit Question of the Month” feature at our Extras!/Interactive blog, along with twenty-three other writers. The response was such– the answers uniformly terrific– that we’re likely to try the feature again. The list includes DIYers– bloggers, self-publishers, zinesters; those changing the literary product– but also status quo reps, from university professors and creative writing instructors, to long-time award-winning story writers Kelly Cherry, T.C. Boyle, and Madison Smartt Bell, to best-selling novelist Scott Turow. Among their number is possibly even a member of the dreaded literary establishment!– if that animal can be credibly identified. We thank them all for the generosity of their time and their minds. Read the answers here.

We ask readers to join the conversation. What’s your favorite answer? Your least favorite? Take a minute and tell us in the Comments section.

 

Buy New Pop Lit!

Announcement

We’ve published some terrific fiction, poems, interviews, and essays on this site this year– in overall ideas, innovation and quality matching any other lit site anyplace. We’ll be making improvements to this site in coming weeks, to make it the ultimate reading experience.

But we want more! Our long-term goal is to be a publishing entity taking on the big guys– competing with the moldering “Big Five” Manhattan-based book giants. NO ONE in the entire lit scene today has more indy credibility– or is better positioned with DIY background and ideas to be at the forefront of the change which is shaking up the book industry.

So, we’ve introduced our first title, NEW POP LIT #1, a collection of new writing.

IF you want to glimpse what literary change looks like, and you’re eager to support that change, you’ll be eager to purchase a copy. For now we have our NEW POP LIT shop linked at our Detroit blog. Soon we’ll be selling the issue at other places. This project’s editor was once very able at obtaining attention for lit projects– and will do so with this one.

This is an opportunity to step on board the pop lit train as it’s leaving the station– perhaps literature’s most exciting new happening. We’re only beginning. Watch what we do in 2016! Thanks.

Coming Soon!

Announcement

Yes, we’re pleased to announce that the long-delayed analog version of NEW POP LIT is at the printer. An actual hold-in-your-hand literary journal! We’ve corrected the mistakes made in our rushed-out prototype, and likely added new ones.

This has been a continual learning experience. We’ve gained a marked appreciation for anyone creating a print journal, because there are an endless number of things which can and will go wrong. Turning out a product with many contributors is far tougher than dealing with work of your own– there’s extra responsibility involved. We want to present great work from terrific writers, and we wish to present that work well. We keep reminding ourselves that this is our first lit product– first step in a long journey.

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Fans of ours will notice we’ve run with a different version of the excellent Alyssa Klash cover. (Purple replacing the green-themed prototype.) We’ve done this for several reasons.

1.) The green cover-with-colorful back was almost too good. Too pop. Too striking, so as to be a tad out of balance with the contents. The purple-and-gray version, being more muted, will stress that we’re pop but we’re also serious presenters of significant, meaningful work. We believe when you read the issue you’ll agree with this assessment. Our objective from the start has been to be pop and serious both.

2.) Presenting our “real” version with a different-colored cover frankly makes the prototype more of a collector’s item.

But all versions of NEW POP LIT #1 will be collector’s items, if we move forward as a major literary player, as is our plan.

Thanks to all concerned for their indulgence and patience.

(To pre-order your copy of NEW POP LIT, email us at newpoplit2@gmail.com.)

LECLAIR ON FRANZEN

Interview

The topic of conversation this week in the established literary world is the publication of Jonathan Franzen’s latest big novel, Purity— one of those sporadic books meant to justify the existence of said literary world. No American novelist over the past fifteen years has received the same level of critical attention combined with media hype.

Is the hype justified?

To answer that question, NEW POP LIT’s Karl Wenclas questions the esteemed author and book reviewer Tom LeClair, who reviewed Franzen’s novel last week at The Daily Beast. Now LeClair amplifies his thoughts; holding nothing back as he examines Franzen, other reviewers, and the current state of American literature and publishing. Read our exclusive interview with him now!

–the critics who go along with Time’s assertion that Franzen is a “Great American Novelist” will be found out and mocked. . . .

Coming Attractions

Announcement

What’s up? Been having a dynamite summer?

We have! Among the writing we’ve published here has been baseball pop, noir pop, experimental pop, creepy pop, political pop (same thing), pop poetry, plus an interview with one of North America’s best and most controversial writers.

We promise that more exciting fiction and poetry will follow. We’ve lined up many weeks of terrific work. Our only criteria is that the writing be readable and good– so sometimes we receive amazing writing which no one else will touch. That’s our mission, if truth be told.

We’re also lining up more provocative interviews. We’ll also do much more to promote pop writers and we continue to search for outstanding pop writers.

What of our publishing endeavors, you ask?

They’re moving along, at snail’s pace maybe, but they’re moving. The first real printing of NEW POP LIT The Print Version aka Issue #1 will happen. Target date is before October 1. We thank those writers and artists included for their patience. We’ll be selling the issue and other publications– and future publications– at our website and through other venues.

In the meantime we’ll have remaining copies of our “Sneak Preview” printing of NEW POP LIT #1 for sale at Detroit’s biggest street fair September 12– along with zines, t-shirts, and books. Stay tuned for more news about that.

Before all this takes place, please explore this site– especially our Coffee House page, where we have links to:

-Fun stuff at New Pop Lit Interactive. Currently we’re asking, “Who’s the Greatest Pop Personality of All Time?” (Not the biggest. The greatest.)

-Lit-world news at our News page. At the moment we ask questions regarding the promotion of Jonathan Franzen’s well-hyped new novel. Read our report and stay current!

-A Detroit literary blog which will track our attempts to build new publishing in this tough but opportunistic town. We deal here in big ideas only.

Which could be the theme of this entire project.

-Karl Wenclas

 

EXCLUSIVE JOHN COLAPINTO INTERVIEW

Controversy

John Colapinto has written a novel he’d like to have published in the United States. Undone is its title. Despite being an excellent writer and on the staff of the esteemed The New Yorker magazine; despite having an impressive resume; despite having been published by book giant Harper-Collins previously– forty U.S. publishers have declined to publish Undone because of its potentially offensive plotline. Even though the novel is well written and entertaining.

What’s happening? Have we entered a new Victorian Age?

Is John Colapinto a latter-day D.H. Lawrence, Allen Ginsberg, or James Joyce?

NEW POP LIT’s Karl Wenclas interviews Mr. Colapinto in an attempt to understand the controversy. Read the interview here.

THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN TODAY’S PUBLISHING SCENE.