Writer Activism?


FOR ALL THE TALK of American literature today being heavily politicized, the results have manifested themselves– in stories, poems, and novels– chiefly in personal, solipsistic ways. Focus on the individual more than society. (See alt lit and autofiction.) Absent are sweeping novels or poems which encompass the broader world– whether like The Octopus by Frank Norris on the left, or Atlas Shrugged from Ayn Rand on the libertarian right. Or poems like “Thou Shalt Not Kill” by Kenneth Rexroth, or “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg.

Absent as well is a writer with the platform, credibility, and strong voice of an Emile Zola who proclaimed, “J’Accuse!” about the Dreyfus case.

WE’VE noticed even with our modest “Save the Writer!” petition a marked hesitation from writers, editors, critics, professors, and other literary people when one would think all would be on board for the modest ask that readers be notified, with brief statements on an inside page, when books are A.I.-generated.

We’ve asked a few of this nation’s most prominent authors (we won’t name them), to join our campaign, hoping to find an Emile Zola or Salman Rushdie among them. So far: Silence.


The direct opposite of a bot-generated writer was the Bard, William Shakespeare– as is described in a new post, “Shakespeare and Creativity,” at New Pop Lit’s News blog. Please read it and see what you think.

ALSO big thanks to all who’ve signed the petition to date!