Protest City



SHOPKEEPERS at this resort town are nailing boards over their storefronts. Not for a hurricane. Instead: For antifa!

We’re expecting mad activist mobs to rush up here once we announce our #4 seeded entrants into the Tournament. One of the selections is a controversial figure– if he were around now he’d be banned or bullied by today’s New Censorship Movement.

But we’re ready! We plan to sneak said writer surreptitiously into town in the middle of night, before we make the announcement. He’ll be surrounded by bodyguards.

NEXT: #4 Seeds


7 thoughts on “Protest City

  1. Writers are not always public figures, and those who are often drop into nowhere as soon as they die. Is anyone reading Norman Mailer these days? And Emily Dickinson didn’t become a public figure until long after she was dead.


    1. The leading talents in every other endeavor in the United States are public figures: sports, news, TV, movies, music, art, government, industry. As long as writers exempt themselves and think they can “just write,” literature will remain a marginalized art form. (Mailer is easily parodied, so we have a soft spot for the guy.)


      1. Well, what can I say except that I don’t have a soft spot for Mailer? And he even once wrote a one-line blurb for me! And no, I don’t think literature is marginalized; I think GOOD literature is marginalized. A lot of people read historical novels. A lot of people read comic books. A lot of people read si-fi. A lot of people read mystery novels or thrillers. I have read some of these. But a lot of people read only these. People are lazy and also addictive. If they like one thing, they’ll go for another thing just like the one thing. I have no way to solve this problem, nor does anyone else. I wish this were not the case, but it is the case.Fortunately, there are people who read poetry. Who read serious and/or inventive novels. Who read nonfiction about important subjects. They are not always easy to find, and there are not enough of them to change the world, but they do exist and give some hope to writers who write outside the box.


  2. Quite an excellent response, Kelly. But you see, our quixotic goal IS to solve this problem– the divide between “pop” and “literary” writing. Why can’t literature do both? (Models exist. Count of Monte Cristo is the forerunner of comic book myths like Batman, but it’s also a great novel.) IF literature takes the next step– and every art form always takes a next step– it will have to be to create and present a pop-lit hybrid which can appeal to all.


  3. If that’s your aim, you have a pro blem. But I have a book of short-shorts and flash fiction coming out next month, and that might be an example of where literature is going. Or there’s Joy Williams’s Ninety-nine stories of God, which is another way to write lit.


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