...first lemme thank you all for putting this together, since mostly i sit around having too many thoughts and too many words about what fiction in our country (this country run by chimps) is and is not. i mean it depends on what is, is, yes? jesus.
at any rate.
the question for me lately has designed itself in my mind's eye as: whatz fiction? circa 2006?
and i find i have trouble answering that.
i mean i know what it is not, because i see what gets legitimized and prized and commodified and honored and oprah-ized.
and i get it pretty clearly and painfully that fiction is not that. though it makes lots of people smile.
all bullshit aside, fiction ought not fall victim to commodification.
but of course it has.
of course it always will.
still, i have a memory, and in this memory there were writers whose souls and perfect vision were to make readers think, struggle, visit the discomfort of imagination, dream, taboo. in other words, visit the place where art is born and dies and rebirths perpetually.
like i need to list names here.
i'm all for small independent presses. hell, i run one.
but there is something bigger and deeper to talk about, and that is the state of art.
i think things are currently dire.
i think things like the body is in danger of disappearing from the page.
i think things like language has to wrestle itself back into the collective unconscious.
it is NOT a precious place, language, meant only for academics and philosophers and admitted recluses.
it is NOT a specialized category, "fiction writing" that matters. though everyone and everything associated with high capitalism means to suggest that it is useless (meaning without "use value").
famous writers exhibit themselves in ways that make my soul sick.
talented writers are snatched up and made iconic in ways that shame the art, and yet, can you blame em? i mean,
one of my "friends," a person whom i admire and wish the best for, chuch palahniuk, is an example. he should have been born in a different time and stuck his manuscripts in a brown paper spit-soaked bag and sent it to city lights. but he got sucked up into the capitalist machine, now he's famous. mr. big.
somehow this makes my heart hurt.
let's just say this: fiction writing in the category of art has been vanquished, and yet, when you've nothing to lose because you've lost everything and beyond, you are, as franz fanon said, as leslie silko and joy harjo have said, in a position of pure resistance.
what would it mean?
what (the title of a samuel beckett novel which didn't really make it...)?