Summer 1978 in THE GOREY DETAIL (Ireland) Francis Stuart writes, All the best fiction lately, and this will be evident in the future, is a criticism and extension of the novel form. No good piece of fiction can now be self-contained, it is open to the world outside at both ends.
AND: Knowledge, as Blake said is love. Knowledge that is not love, and that is almost all contemporary knowledge is illusion.
AND: The serious novel is negative to popular ideas, is alienated from the general assumptions of its society, gives an unequivocable ‘No’ to all general ideas and ideals. Only in the style in which this “No” is annunciated is there a positive glimmer.
One could quote the whole short article but why bother as we live In a culture that has grown only worse from this moment back when Stuart writes, The real enemy of art is not general indifference or widespread public ignorance. It is culture, what passes for culture among any of the so-called well-educated. For them art is an adjunct to their successful lives; it is positive and reassuring, confirming them in their intellectual assumptions. This kind of culture, that incidentally, prefers biographies and even travel books to fiction, is rampant in the literary supplements of the English Sunday papers.
Of course Stuart if he was still alive would add: this is still true and maybe even more dire now with the partial disappearance of literary supplements in the United States and the growing importance of the on-line substitutes such as The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post which are even worse in their sheer knowing ignorant stupidity. These supplements, these organs of power have made us aware of and popularized the fakery represented by: Paul Auster, Jonathan Franzen, Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison, Martin Amis… each of which is an incitement to never admit that one writes or reads as too many consciously think of these as being what is good and drop sad inevitable necessary comparisons, the trying to explain… better give it up! As you will only be thought to pressing sour grapes as opposed to…
The BLACKLIST SECTION H by Francis Stuart is his authority for what I am quoting above and my GOING TO PATCHOGUE and THE CORPSE DREAM OF N. PETKOV is my cliaim upon you to make this post