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“Invisible Man” Shows Up

April 30, 2012

“The” Red State men’s novel… gutsy, smart, funny, prophetic

I award myself the 2012 Pulitzer.

Thank you, thank you.

Further proof American literature is bitched: No Pulitzer Prize for fiction was awarded this year. Not everybody cares, of course, but it bruises my heart.

It also explodes the academic pretense that creative writing can be taught. Professors, you have so utterly failed to “teach” how to write. You teach what to write. That castrates students’ originality. Of course, a vigorous, candidly-masculine literary avant-guard is the worst publishing disaster university conformists can imagine.

Author, all their carefully implanted “political correctness” in your brain is the suicide of spontaneity. It is you saying, not what you honestly first think, but what, on second thought, you better settle for. It is the death of the original. And novels are called novels because they are supposed to be novel. I don’t care if you are Right or Left or Middling — this is about your art, not your politics.

Art is smothered by gun-point conformity, and nothing can revive it, apparently — look to Russia and weep! — after a couple generations of fear of the New.

Maybe PIECE OF RESISTANCE is 2012’s best American novel. I think it deals entertainingly with troubles our nation is about to end up neck-deep in, just like Europe. So, even putting aside family pride, I guarantee POR is bolder, better-achieved, ambitious in execution, more relevant to How We Live Now, funnier, and, yes, damn it!, a nobler effort than any of these other losers.

No, I freely admit I haven’t read all of the nominees. I don’t need to. I wrote POR because nobody needs to read one more New York Times best-seller. Period.

Will you listen to the author of the best-regarded novel of the second half of the 20th century?

…And is there not a connection between the non-intellectual aspects of (American fiction) and its creators’ rejection of broad social responsibility, its failure to project characters who grasp the broad sweep of American life? …Is it not a partial explanation of why (American fiction) has created no characters possessing broad insight into their situation or the emotional, psychological and intellectual complexity which would allow them to posses and articulate a truly democratic world view?”

–Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man

One Comment leave one →
  1. Emmett Grayson permalink
    May 1, 2012 4:10 PM

    I wrote POR because nobody needs to read one more New York Times best-seller. Period.

    Or hear one more “I’m so country” song on the radio! Young co-writer of mine got “class” feedback on something we’re writing. I’m proud of him because he says, “Screw that – we’ll write it how we want and play it to the people who listen.”

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