Technicolor World

Essay

THIS WEEKEND is the largest of the many “Dream Cruise” events taking place every summer in the Detroit area. A parade of many hundreds of colorful classic cars– most from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s– in this instance cruising up and down Woodward Avenue, long the main drag in town.

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A dream cruise is a celebration of summer and of car culture, engaged in by fans of the unique blend of technology and artistry which the automobile at its best represents. They’re a celebration of Detroit, and really, of America. 

But what they are also is a celebration of color and style. Technicolor-level style and color, which seem to have vanished from today’s monochrome world.

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Many movie directors today bleed much of the color out of their flicks. Gone are the glories of a vibrant assault of sensation, as experienced by moviegoers of a bygone era. The problem is that this same process has taken place in the world at large. Including in many aspects of today’s culture.

(Melodrama? What’s melodrama? Where any longer is an over-the-top expression of emotion and plot?)

We’ve become a cautious, timid society, everyone monitoring their words, thoughts, and emotions. Can’t have too many emotions, or you’ll be medicated. The watchword is safety. Play it safe! Which for the creative artist is death.

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A handful of snarky New York City film critics dismissed Quentin Tarantino’s new film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” as too retro. Artistically reactionary. A celebration of a bygone era never to come back. But is it? Isn’t it rather a celebration of the glories of style and ART?
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The past two summers we’ve featured what might be considered Technicolor fiction. Awash in color, and also romance. Young love. Upbeat expressions of the possibilities of life, which still exist if we step out of our cocoons of doom and grab for them.

Last year we ran “The Austin Strangler” by Nick Gallup.

This year, we featured Angelo Lorenzo‘s “Spoiler Alert.”

These are both fun, “pop” reads with a pop sensibility and outlook– painted as much as written on the page.

Read them, or reread them. They represent the basic foundation of what we and the pop-lit style are all about.
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(Painting: “Airplanes on the Metropolis” by Tullio Crali.)

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Short Summer Fiction

Pop Lit Fiction

IN THE MIDDLE of summer everyone seems to be traveling or escaping, from the heat of jobs or the stagnation of their lives. In  the middle of summer, we like to sometimes present short summer fiction perfect for reading about exotic locales where you might like to travel to, or at least imagine being there.

Today we have a well-written short story by talented writer Zachary H. Loewenstein, “Jerusalem,” which in concise words captures the bustle and heat of the well-traveled city– as if he were creating a painting instead of a story. We think you’ll enjoy it.

“It was just right about there.” The entirely bald and unlicensed tour guide pointed with his swollen index finger. His brain was cooking in the heat and he shouted. He clapped his hands and insisted, “Ok! Everybody! It’s time to move to the market! Everybody!”

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(Art: “House in the Garden 1908” by Pablo Picasso.)

Revamping Fiction

Pop Lit Fiction

WE’VE begun to rethink several aspects of this project. One of the items on our planning table is fiction– the style offered. We’re toying with prototypes– will eventually implement tighter requirements. That it be dynamic, punchy, readable, fast, and if possible, fun. The future story will need to slap the reader in the face and grab that person by the collar, in order to survive as an art form.

EVIDENCE shows that the finely-detailed, well-crafted literary story is as slow and obsolete as a Studebaker automobile.

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It reaches no one beyond a finely educated clique. A literary priesthood, stodgy and complacent, well-suited for preserving the literary art but not for taking it to new areas.

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OUR NEWEST offering, “Hats Off to Bob” by Bob Lorentson– a story about hats!– gives a basic template to build on. Likeable and readable, with a modest-but-amusing punchline. Lorentson isn’t Ernest Hemingway. (Who is?) But we think Hemingway would appreciate what Bob Lorentson does with this unpretentious tale. If not a Corvette, then a Mini Cooper.

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Confidence. As much as he hated to admit it, he knew that he lacked the confidence that all those other people had. Or appeared to have. All thanks to his wimpy name and bland, impotent face. Things he had absolutely no control over. It wasn’t fair. How could he go about getting more confident?

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OUR LATEST New Pop Lit News report is about dinosaur booksellers, specifically Barnes and Noble. Read it here.

WHAT’S the future of books and literature? We’re not sure, but we know they belong to everyone.
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(Art: “Her Paintings, Her Objects” by Sonia Delaunay.)

 

 

New Fiction: “Homecoming”

Pop Lit Fiction

JUST when you’ve had enough of summer and its heat, we come along with great summer reading set in Buffalo, New York, during the winter holidays. Snow! Cold! Blizzards!

The story is “Homecoming” by Michael Howard. It’s about a young woman returning home from sunny California during the Christmas season, encountering all the familiar warm faces and smells, but also something darker, lying wait inside the comfortable house. . . .

Lucy had the sensation that the room was growing smaller. She could feel her pulse thumping in her temples as she forced another smile and told him that it was nice of him to say so, but that they really should go back downstairs now. Her words didn’t seem to penetrate–

at dusk childe hassam

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(Paintings: “Murnau Burggrabenstrasse” by Wassily Kandinsky; “At Dusk” by Childe Hassam.)