Writing: Search for the Genuine

Pop Lit Fiction

WE TALK OFTEN here at New Pop Lit headquarters about Hemingway’s “True Gen”: How to define it and how to find it– the thread of thought provoked by the death of singer-songwriter Pat Dinizio , long-time front man of working-class New Jersey rock band The Smithereens.

Smithereens

The band never quite hit the big time– yet were the genuine article, creating simple strong passionate art. This took us to a low rent same-named work from another medium: Susan Seidelman’s classic (?) indie film about the 1980’s punk scene: “Smithereens.”

Smithereens 11
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The genuine is a quest, not always a destination. The search for the authentic involves the artist getting as close as possible to real experience– to find the true moment, the genuine emotion.

How do we find new writing of piercing reality?

By being open to it. This week we present a short story of tough background and authentic emotion,  “Eighty Pounds” by Michigan writer Jon Berger. It’s about high school, classes, cliques, class, drugs, jobs, work: life. Not Manhattan literary slickness. Instead: reality, truth, grit. Read it.

Those guys in there, it’s like they knew how to size me up. Guys in the world, like Will, they only saw that I was in dumb classes and that I didn’t play sports or they saw where I lived and they thought that was my size.
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(Painting: “The Boulevard” by Gino Severini.)

 

 

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Prattlegate

Pop Lit Fiction

The power of media is something we witness every day. We’re bombarded by it, from television screens to Yahoo news feeds and supermarket tabloids. all of them screaming insane headlines on all sides. Fear! Scandal! Hysteria!

It becomes more and more impossible to know truth from imagination from PR.

This is the premise of “Prattlegate,” a great new story by Ken O’Steen. It may give you a moment of perspective on what you’re daily experiencing.

Richard made the final click, and the story was disseminated.

“Thirty seconds already?” Raymond asked.

“About.”

“Shit. We’re already past a minute. You’ve got to take it down. Yikes,” Raymond said, clutching at his hair with both of his hands.