Revolt on Mount Parnassus: An Allegory in Copy/Paste


PARIS – AUGUST, 1870 – An incorrigible, horrible genius. A fifteen year-old! disembarks at Rue de Maubeuge. A concussion of uncombed hair infested with a plague of lice. Soiled clothing. A homicidal cupid with the enormous hands of a strangler. A smarmy smirk, perfect skin, a beautiful terror with cherub lips and a pernicious grin. Paris is about to fall and the air is crisp with revolt like the pit of the stomach before a first sexual encounter. Crackling on the skin is the charged abstraction of rebirth that floods the streets and minds with the absolution of seditious acts. Napoleon III is only days from being overthrown, the empire toppling and Arthur Rimbaud treats the skittish police and then the magistrate with “ironic disdain” and is immediately sent to the prison at Mazas in the eastern district of the city, the officers finding the boy’s poems in his coat completely indecipherable.

Rimbaud is swept up along with the banished rebels and dissidents that have returned to the city for a revolt and subsequent looting. Anyone suspicious is immediately detained. The soil so rich and fuming and moist and ready for the outgrowth of new ideas, new conclusions, new leaders sprung from the spontaneous executions of the authorities, administrative officials and appointees like the upsurge of puberty in the newly crowned youth, and like Rimbaud himself too! described by the prefecture as, “without domicile or means of support.”

Manacled and riding through the old avenues in the back of a police carriage, all that Rimbaud has furiously studied comes alive now as he sees everywhere the Medieval narration of the city of Francois Villon’s time. All around too is the contemporary descriptions of Victor Hugo’s Paris. Raised in the wilds of the Ardennes, his eyes bulging at the modernity in front of him, hands cuffed behind.

The Prussian army is at the outskirts of the city and has cut off supplies from the countryside. The Siege of Paris will cause famine and disease. A holocaust of terror and death, and from the rubble will come a revolt and the Paris Commune where anarchists and communists including Mikhail Bakunin and Karl Marx will famously battle for supremacy on how best to shape a new world.

The devastation and rapine descending on Paris will include the destruction of facile poetry too. The old guard of impassive French poets, a society of middle class men with family ties to the old monarchy, the Parnassians as they are known, will fall pray to Rimbaud’s horrible wit and brilliant cruelty.

“This society. It will fall to the axe, the pick and the steamroller,” Rimbaud had mentioned to a childhood friend. “Some demolitions are necessary.”

The great tremors that will bring down the Second French Empire will also incinerate the Parnassian movement in poetry. Precipitated by the youthful Rimbaud’s violent disdain for the bourgeois and their sycophants posing as seers, the Parnassians will soon be exposed and banished to the literary trash bin.

First, Rimbaud will be admitted into the Parnassian fold by Paul Verlaine. Brought in, almost purposely, to assassinate by mockery and ridicule its overbearing, officious leader Leconte de Lisle (A man history has all but forgotten!). But not only to execute its leaders, but the old ways too. To think that poetry was not about feeling, but strict grammatical demand, conventional form, avoidance of personal emotion, “art for art’s sake” peopled by respected men of the middle to upper classes with monarchical bloodlines and titles?

Rimbaud smiled. Evil and assured. Sexual in his attack. Of the most pretentious of Parnassian poets, he kept a “catalogue of incompetents.” This included Theodore de Banville’s banal and self-congratulatory poems that alluded to Greek myths and who, according to a literary critic years later, “catered indefatigably for the public taste.”

Rimbaud, the unknown itinerant prodigy, the “tavern genius” sent Banville his licentious poetry multiple times. Not understanding that these were a portent to his own downfall, Banville read them politely. The title of one of the poems Rimbaud sent? “Hercules Drooled,” a cruel reference to Banville’s (ab)use of the Greek myth in his own work. At the end of the sardonic note, Rimbaud wrote venomously, “Have I progressed?”

He would take all of the Parnassian movement by storm. His target soon becoming his victim as there was nothing Rimbaud couldn’t accomplish, even as he was ostracized during his life by the school that kept the gate to Parisian poetry. History does not remember the Parnassians. It remembers Rimbaud.

But one thing Rimbaud could not accomplish – banishing power structures altogether, and the irrational amount of control they have over the arts when it comes to who, what, why and how one may become notable. To an aspiring artist looking up, what it takes to become notable may seem more important than her/his message. In fact, the means of gaining, or maintaining notoriety can oftentimes become the message.


“Emily Gould refers to Kevin Williamson as a ‘right-wing blogger.’ Keith Gessen and his magazine (n+1) have repeatedly stressed how left-wing they are. We’re forced to ask: What’s the difference? Members of their scene all seem to come from affluent, well-connected backgrounds. Their “art” invariably isn’t concerned with the larger world, but an obsession with self … The larger question is whether any of these characters are generating meaningful ideas about art, culture, and the world. The question is whether this literary scene is creating relevant and meaningful literature.”
~The Most Privileged Writers in America are Whining (2015)

“Sycophant – a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage.”
~Oxford English Dictionary

“The revolution will not be right back after a message
About a white tornado, white lightning, or white people
You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom
The tiger in your tank or the giant in your toilet bowl
The revolution will not go better with Coke
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.”
~Gil Scott Heron The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1970)

“In literary history, the ‘Parnassian poets’ are a sprawling constellation of lower-magnitude stars with which the disheveled comets and dazzling supernovae of Hugo, Baudelaire and Mallarmé were briefly associated … Its watchword was ‘impassivity’ – the opposite of ‘inspiration’ … calculated poems of the school’s acknowledged leader, Leconte de Lisle, (give him) a haunting dullness … It also happened to be the case that anyone who wanted to see their work published in a prominent literary review would do well to sound as Parnassian as possible.”
~Graham Robb Rimbaud (2000)

“Writers worthy of the name were obliged to mingle with this incompetent fracas; one saw men … Annoyed by the purely theoretical Impassiveness of the Parnassians.”
~Paul Verlaine Les poètes maudits (The Accursed Poets) (1888)

“Poets … have not always been able to gain … recognition. In his melancholy reflections entitled Stello (1832), Alfred de Vigny suggests that during the eighteenth century any poet who was at one and the same time both an individualist and an idealist was perversely turned by society into an ‘eternal helot’ … antagonistic power-mongers placed ‘a curse upon his life’ … Thus, in the phrase made famous in the twentieth century by Verlaine, the individualistic poet became a poete maudit, a ‘poet accursed’, and ironically he was accursed by the very society which should have respected his primal wisdom.”
~Morton W. Bloomfield, Charles W. Dunn The Role of the Poet in Early Societies (1989)

“The number of self-published titles (books) rose again in 2013, increasing 16.5%, to 458,564,”
~Publishers Weekly (2014)

There are certainly far more people writing today – sometimes I think there are more writers than readers …(laughs)”
~Ruskin Bond (2014)

“From my vantage point, there are moments when it seems like more people in this country want to write than read. Many people who read The Best American Short Stories, the annual series that I edit, are in fact writers in training, reading in order to learn how to write better. I myself came to serious reading a little late, halfway through college, and this was in a class where both reading and creative writing were taught.”
~Heidi Pitlor When Writers Outnumber Readers (2014)

“NOT long ago, I received, in a single week, three (3) invitations to write an original piece for publication or give a prepared speech in exchange for no ($0.00) money. As with stinkbugs, it’s not any one instance of this request but their sheer number and relentlessness that make them so tiresome. It also makes composing a polite response a heroic exercise in restraint … There is a bottomless supply of ambitious young artists in all media who believe the line about exposure, or who are simply so thrilled at the prospect of publication that they’re happy to do it free of charge.”
~Tim Kreider New York Times (2013)

“Penguin Random House LLC does not accept unsolicited submissions, proposals, manuscripts, or submission queries via e-mail at this time. If you would like to have your work or manuscript considered for publication by a major book publisher, we recommend that you work with an established literary agent.”
~manuscript submissions

“The following are basic guidelines for submitting your proposal …

  • Proposal title …
  • A 40-word description / sales pitch of the project …
  • Two-to three paragraph description …
  • Intended format …
  • Table of contents …
  • Endorsements that support your book …
  • Approximate length …
  • A mostly finished manuscript …
  • Evaluation of what is unique about the book …
  • Intended audience …
  • Resume or C.V. with cover letter …
  • Bibliography …

~ The Crossroad Publishing Company Submissions Manuscript Guidelines

“So you’ll get your kicks by exerting your will over me.”
“It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you. I will gain a great deal of pleasure, joy even, in your submission. The more you submit, the greater my joy – it’s a very simple equation.”
~E.L. James Fifty Shades of Grey (2011)

“If publishers can commoditize writing, they’re no longer at the mercy of unruly, unmanageable and unpredictable writers. They can lower their costs, they can guarantee that their schedules will be adhered to, and they can keep the trains running on time. The problem is that they destroy the uniqueness and creativity that readers expect when they buy a book.”
~Micheal Levin Why Book Publishers Hate Authors (2013)

“The dilettantism of the Parnassian school … they see in art a conventional perfection … The respect for poetical grammar … consecrated laws … Indifferent to the soul of poetry … Poetry is little more than prose, a prose submitted to rules … their dexterity necessarily culminated in miracles of vain mechanism.” “The only members … who merit the name of poet, very early broke away from it, and were really only worthy of being so called, because they reacted against a poetry sterilized by poverty of substance and vitiated by refinement of form.”
~Georges Pellissier The Literary Movement in France During the Nineteenth Century (1897)

“David Foster Wallace … In his telling, creative-writing programs are filled with teachers who would rather be writing than teaching, and who resent their students for the lost time. Students respond to this hostility by churning out ‘solid, quiet work … nice, cautious, boring Workshop Stories, stories as tough to find technical fault with as they are to remember after putting them down.’ M.F.A. graduates are loosed upon the world to publish formulaic McStories, and then get hired to preach the gospel of drabness at other programs.”
~Andrew Martin, The New Yorker (2014)

“There must be no trace of personal emotions in a book.”
~Leconte de Lisle Parnasse et Symbolisme Pierre Martino (1954)

“This is the great fantasy of the second and third-generation gentrification novelist: the fruits of gentrification without the guilt. One can be an artist and live like an advertising executive, scorning wealth while enjoying its bounty.”
~Elizabeth Gumport Gentrified Fiction (2009)

“Now, in the guest house, you could write in peace.”
“Hey, Tully baby, nobody who could write worth a damn could ever write in peace, Jesus.”
“I take it you don’t care for my world.”
“Baby, look around, it’s a cage with golden bars.”
~Barfly (1987)

“We live in a decade that likes to disparage government and to exalt the market. We are told that, if a cultural institution cannot pay its way, then it has no economic justification and, if no economic justification, no social justification. Art, we are given to understand, must stand or fall by the box-office test, and the devil take the hindmost.”
~Arthur Schlesinger Jr. New York Times (1985)

“The lit-lovers who used to become editors and agents will direct MFA programs instead; the book industry will become as rational—that is, as single-mindedly devoted to profit—as every other capitalist industry.”
~Chad Harbach MFA vs. NYC (2010)

“Once upon a time a creative person himself, he is now a failed creative person who lives vicariously off true creative people. He has built a reputation on the work of other people.”
~J.M. Coetzee Dusklands (1974)

“Counter-cultural movements have failed … there’s no real friction between the counter-culture and the accepted mainstream. The rebellious fringes may actually feed Capitalism: ‘Rebellion was advertised in the late fifties and early sixties as having revolutionary consequences with respect to the political and economic system … (the counter-culture) didn’t deliver on any of those problems. Rather than being a revolutionary transformation of consciousness, it was just consumerism.’”
~Review of book The Rebel Sell at The Rebel Dollar: Joseph Heath (2011)

“This song is for the LAPD, we got arrested the other night at Blackey’s for playing punk rock music. They called us nuisance in public, or something like that. Anyway, they put us in jail and this song’s called Revenge, and it’s for them.”
~Ron Reyes, Black Flag, The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

“What does that have to do with anything? I’m calling her out for living off drama and making bank by pretending to be a victim.”
Serene M. in comments section for article Kanye West Defends Controversial Lyrics, Says THAT Line Was Taylor Swift’s Idea! (2016)

“(Kurt) Cobain even gently chides fans suspicious of Nirvana’s commercial success, ‘I don’t blame the average seventeen year old punk rock kid for calling me a sellout, I understand that. And maybe when they grow up a little bit, they’ll realize there’s more things to life than living out your rock & roll identity so righteously.’”
~Neil Nehring Anger is an Energy: Popular Music, Gender and Postmodernism (1997)

“By the 1860s, Leconte de Lisle was the acknowledged leader … Many followed his creed … Yet there can be few poets in any literature who had less effect on the subsequent development of their art.”
~David Coward A History of French Literature (2008)

“Sycophant – groupie, lackey, adulator, backscratcher, puppet, slave, brownnoser, handshaker, backslapper, bootlicker, doormat, fan, fawner, flatterer, flunky, groveler, hanger-on, minion, parasite, politician.”

“De Lisle then … sat monocled, stern, the monumental profile slightly lifted to the light. A dozen square monocles flashed in his honor before eyes having no need of their assistance; his slightest word was greeted with acclamations from poets astride the corners of the desk.”
~Lawrence and Elisabeth Hanson Verlaine: Fool of God (1957)

“His brow has the mystery of a temple. His eyes are those of an eagle.”
~Aspiring poet Paul Armande Silvestre on Leconte de Lisle Portraits and Souvenirs (1891)

“Sycophant – suck up, ass kisser, internet white knight, toady, eunuch, yes-man, asshole, loser, sheep, white knight, woman worshipper.”

“Nothing was any worse than corporate rock … If they tried to offer my generation music by someone that had won a game show, it would have been hysterical. You would have been laughed out of the room.”
~Tom Petty (2014)

“I just dislike (Jonas Brothers) because they are a front. A media machine. They are just a means for disney to push it’s values and ideologies onto young naive children who latch onto the pretty looks, ‘badboy rockstar’ image and catchy music, and immitate what the jonas brothers do (or rather are told/payed to do by disney).”
~Sonny_Sam at forum for Why do sooo many people hate the Jonas Brothers (2009)

“Judas, like most people at the time, believed the Messiah was going to overthrow Roman occupation and take a position of power ruling over the nation of Israel. Judas may have followed Jesus hoping to benefit from association with Him as the new reigning political power.”
~Bible questions answered by

“Some people say that (Harper) Lee’s decision to release the follow-up novel, Go Set a Watchman, may be more than a simple change of heart. Friends of the author … said on Wednesday that Lee, 88, is in a fragile mental state and may have been manipulated … Janet Sawyer, a restaurant owner who resides at Monroeville and has known Lee for years, echoed the sentiment … ‘I don’t think she agreed to do it. I think it’s her attorney being greedy,’”
~Paula Mejia Friends Say Harper Lee Was Manipulated (2015)

“Silence also exists as a punishment … in penalties (ranging from censorship to and physical destruction of artworks to fines, exiles, prison for the artist) meted out by ‘society’ for the artist’s spiritual nonconformity or subversion of the group sensibility.”
~Susan Sontag in The Aesthetics of Silence (1969)

“Basquiat sought to prove himself as a black man in a white world … The critics hated them, described Basquiat as an ‘art world mascot’ and an ‘all too willing accessory’ in the New York Times … It’s odd to consider that he’s not had a major museum retrospective in Europe until now, seeing as he’s one of the few artists whose cultural place transcends beyond the worlds of art. He should be selling out blockbuster exhibitions at the Tate and Pompidou, but has been relegated to small, niche institutions outside of Europe’s major public galleries.”
~Felix Petty black art matters (2015)

“But lest one conclude that (Arno) Breker was a humanitarian who simply happened to make Nazi art, it is important to remember that he was an opportunist. Breker first and foremost looked out for his own interests.”
~Jonathan Petropoulos Artists Under Hitler: Collaboration and Survival in Nazi Germany (2014)

“Lambón (Spanish) – Now this is a word that has no translation. However, when someone is taking advantage of other people’s food, car, or property this person is called a lambón.” (2009)

“That Macklemore album wasn’t better than the Drake record. That Iggy Azalea shit isn’t better than any fucking black girl that’s rapping today … I feel like in this country, whenever it comes to our things, like black issues or black politics or black music or whatever, there’s always this undercurrent of kinda like a ‘fuck you.’ There’s always a ‘fuck y’all niggas. Y’all don’t really own shit. Y’all don’t have shit.”
~Azealia Banks interview (2014)

“Lambon …
Argentina – A person who gets involved in the lives of others.
Colombia – A nosy person, overly involved, a toad, a snoop, an interfering and meddling person.
Peru – A licker of balls.
Puerto Rico – A person who only does favors when she/he can gain advantage.”

“Donald Trump … reinvents himself to conform to every social circumstance … Trump has gradually broadened his political sycophancy for mass appeal.”
~ Trump and the Art of Sycophancy (2016)

“He had a big damn mirror in front of the piano, with this big spotlight on him, so that everybody could watch his face when he played … Anyway, when he was finished and everyone was clapping their heads off, old Ernie turned around on his stool and gave this very phony, humble bow. Like if he was a helluva humble guy, besides being a terrific piano player. It was very phony—I mean him being such a big snob and all.”
~J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1945)

“The most obvious sign of (Catulle) Mendès’ acuity was his realization that the (Parnassian) movement which he was trying to bring to life needed a leader … Baudelaire … whom Mendès would have preferred, was a lone wolf; his reputation insofar as he had one was low with all but a few intellectuals, he was not respectable and that would never do: so Mendès, far from respectable himself, was obliged to reason … This left Leconte de Lisle … A cold man and unsociable … He has long since been relegated to histories of French literature, being notable now for a single fact, that he was the only poet and almost the only person to arouse Verlaine’s dislike, a feat indeed and one which explains him better than many words.”
~Lawrence and Elisabeth Hanson Verlaine: Fool of God (1957)

“A collection of stories to be read in the two minutes people of fashion could spare for reading. Stories which the Madame could read whilst her maid was putting on her stockings, or which the Monsieur could devour when, hat on head and cane in hand, he waits till the Madame has buttoned the last button of her gloves.”
~R.E. Prothero on Parnassian poet Theodore de Banville The Nineteenth Century (1891)

“(Parnassian poet) Jean Aicard was reading a selection of his poems and Rimbaud, by the end of the dinner more than a little drunk, was punctuating every line with the word ‘merde’ (shit) uttered in a loud and distinct voice so that all present could hear … Then (Étienne) Carjat, the photographer, took it upon himself to silence the impudent boy. When Rimbaud insolently replied that he would be silent for no one, Carjat shook him roughly and told him to be quiet or he would pull his ears. Rimbaud, now completely out of hand, seized hold of Verlaine’s sword-stick, dashed at Carjat and would have done him bodily harm had those present not taken hold of him and reft the sword from his grasp … It was decided, after the events of that evening, that (Rimbaud) was never again to be allowed to be present at the dinners of the society.”
~Enid Starkie Arthur Rimbaud (1962)

“Verlaine was entirely dominated by the extraordinary genius of Rimbaud, a mind entirely hostile to Leconte de Lisle … there is no sign of any return to the views of Parnassianism, except the occasional insignificant imitator. For good or ill, French poetry has mainly followed the line struck out by Rimbaud, Mallarmé and Baudelaire.”
~The Spectator (1925)

“When Brando at the end (of the film On the Waterfront) yells … ‘I’m glad what I done!’ Kazan said years afterward. ‘That was me saying, with identical heat, that I was glad that I’d testified as I had. I’d been snubbed each and every day for many months in my old show business haunts, and I’d not forgotten nor would I forgive the men, old friends some of them, who’d snubbed me, so the scene in the film where Brando goes back to the waterfront … for employment and is rejected by men with whom he’d worked day after day—that too, was my story, now told to all the world.’”
~Director Elia Kazan Elia Kazan: A Life (1988)

“You’re just a good-hearted whore like me.”
~(Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures speaking to Kazan) Judith A. Smith Visions of Belonging (2004)

“Directing is in the same line as acting, both are popularity contests.”
~James Franco James Franco Loves Directing More Than Acting (2013)

“The AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Conference & Bookfair is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join our community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature.” (2016)

“The young Parnassians first met at the salon of the Marquise de Ricard … Here in the soft light of the sumptuous salons, amidst rich brocades and rare Gobelins, the celebrated Parnassian School of poets had its beginnings.”
~Francis Grierson Parisian Portraits (1913)

“The more social contacts you have, the more grooming you get … Observing social networks … the female (macaques) with the most contacts had fewer lice.”
~Itching to Be Popular New York Times (2016)

“The act of studying something is usually left to the academics … This is not the case with popular culture, because by its very definition, the idea hinges on it being consumed … The vast majority of people are (so busy) with their own activities and acquisition of ‘popular knowledge’ that they cease to recognize a beginning and end to their participation.”
~Can Akdeniz Popularity: How to Become Famous (Who or What is Best Liked and Why) (2014)

“Popularity is totally overrated.”
~Kathleen Hanna Kathleen Hanna Discusses ‘The Punk Singer’ Documentary And The Evolution Of Feminism (2013)

“When the Nazis had consolidated their grip on power with the March elections and begun their official anti-semitic campaigns with boycotts of Jewish businesses and the introduction of the Aryan clause, which banned Jews from working in the film industry, Hitler commissioned her to make Victory Of Faith, a record of the 1933 Nazi Party rally.”
~Richard Falcon Leni Riefenstahl (2003)

Lychee4U – “Not the wizards crap again.”
honest john – “enough of this rubbish”
potroast – “seen the trailer….this looks like its going to be visually a lovely movie….based on the time period.”
rose.1 – “Who cares if they want to milk it people just watch and enjoy”
accdan – “and why wouldnt it be…3 x the money,,,”
BoB – “Of course it will… You can’t hope to make buckets of money releasing just 1 film. Everything now has to be Franchise …”
~Comments section – Jenny Awford New Harry Potter film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be a TRILOGY, JK Rowling confirms (2016)

“In form … rhymes are less rich, to be less conspicuous, the rhythm more sedate, and the images make a shorter leap from reality. As a whole, Leconte (de Lisle)’s versification … is more in the manner than the substance.” “Theodore de Banville … his light ironic verse, brilliant in technique, exquisite in detail, and subdued in lyric impulse, does show that the fervor of an earlier day had vanished.”
~Jacques Barzun The Cradle of Modernism

“Excreter of ink.”
~Rimbaud on Parnassian poet Edmond Lepelletier, Emilie Noulet Leon Dierx (1925)

“I hate promoting the movies. If I never had to do it, it would be fine. I’d much rather let someone else talk about it.”
~Director Harmony Korine The Anti Dreamer (2001)

“The popular demand for Tom Clancy’s action novels exceeded his ability to write new books. As a result, his publisher hired ghostwriters to write novels in the Clancy style.”
~Caption (currently) of Tom Clancy photo for page on Ghostwriter (2016)

“When you sell your soul to the devil, you are giving your life (to) him in return for an object or ability of great power. You are also signing a pact chaining you to him, which makes you serve under his dark unholiness. There are no distinct changes in Personality, Physical Appearance, or emotions. Unless that is what you traded your soul for. Usually, when one sells their soul, they get something of untold power. This ‘power’ usually causes the human psyche to become one that is corrupted by greed, power, lust, and violence.”
~Anonymous user voted “best answer” to the question What happens when you sell your soul to the devil? Will you become a demon? (2010)

“Last week, the site posted something that was both appalling and brilliant. A film posted a groupon that allowed you to buy your way into a zombie film. Let’s look at the positive side … 40 groupons at $149 a piece … When you consider the costs of paying extras, the food, the time to organize them all, you’re looking at $6k. So, when you add the two amounts up… the production actually made about $9,000 off this idea … There are now 40 people that are going to be babbling on and on and on about their experience to EVERYONE THEY KNOW… so… I’ll say it again: PUBLICITY!”
~Kristopher Hoffman (2012)

Film Critic A.O. Scott – “It’s hard. I think one of the problems critics have … which is a kind of bias in favor of certain artists that kind of sinks in … it’s hard to judge each thing on its merits.”
Kurt Anderson – “You judge their films by different standards because of what they have done?”
Scott – “Because of who they are. Because they are Martin Scorsese or they are Robert Altman or Terence Malick or they’re Clint Eastwood, or whoever they are. In film criticism it’s the old tourist bias, and it’s a perfect tautology.”
~In Defense of Critics (2016)

Tautology – needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in “widow woman.”

“Broadway is mostly white … It’s an intimate industry, and ethnic nepotism plays a large role in how jobs are filled. Broadly speaking, white people tend to know more white people, so when resumes are requested, guess who comes to mind first?”
~Lee Semour Forbes Why Broadway Is So White, Part 1: Real Estate, Nepotism And David Mamet (2016)

“The fact is, genre readers have a voracious appetite and it’s genre novels which are driving the publishing industry today … The question of whether writers should limit themselves to a genre if they want to make a living depends, of course, on passion and investment.”
~Thomas Stewart Which 5 Books Make the Most Money (2014)

“< b>The Writer’s Workshop takes an approach to teaching writing that is new only because it is so old … by carefully imitating masters of the craft … By living in their workshops and apprenticing to these and other masters, apprentice writers—like apprentice musicians, painters, and blacksmiths of the past—will rapidly improve the complexity of their art.”
~Description of The Writers’ Workshop: Imitating your way to better writing (2007)

kztar621 – “Here’s an easy lawsuit: Bruno Mars. Seriously, that dude tries way too hard to be Michael Jackson.”
Grace H – “So what if some songs sound similar? People have used so many beats and rhythms, I think it’s 100% possible that half of these were pure coincidences.”
Juntex – “ACDC should sue themselves for composing the same song for the past 30 years.”
~Youtube comments section for Top Ten Rip Off Songs

Jimmy Fallon – “And Schwarzenegger, I’ve read that you guys actually hated each other for a while.”
Sylvester Stallone – “Well we were very competitive. Yeah, I think hate’s a good word … (crowd laughs)”
Jimmy Fallon – “You would do Rambo, and then he would do.”
Sylvester Stallone – “Commando. (laughs)”
~The Tonight Show (2014)


“(Rimbaud) astonished the whole of the Parnasse … The secret of Rimbaud, I think, and the reason why he was able to do the unique thing in literature which he did … is that his mind was not the mind of the artist but of the man of action.”
~Arthur Symons The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899)

“The qualities that make Godard … a culture hero … are precisely his prodigal energies, his evident risk-taking, the quirky individualism of his mastery of a corporate, drastically commercialized art … The great culture heroes of our time have shared two qualities: they have all been ascetics in some exemplary way, and also great destroyers … He is probably the first major director to enter the cinema on the level of commercial production with an explicitly critical intention.”
~Susan Sontag Godard (1968)

“Doing plays for 50 bucks and trying to be true to myself as an artist and turning down commercials where they wanted a leprechaun. Saying I was lucky negates the hard work I put in.”
~Peter Dinklage New York Times Magazine (2012)

“Both Walden and Civil Disobedience were largely ignored during Thoreau’s lifetime. In the years following his death, however, Thoreau’s reputation grew and he is now considered one of America’s greatest writers and thinkers.”
~Harold Bloom Henry David Thoreau (1988)

“For both films (Un Chien Andalou and L’age d’Or) Dalí and Buñuel trawled their subconscious minds to come up with bizarre sequences that assault bourgeois values and sexual oppression.”
~Philip French The Guardian (2011)

“On the sketch show The Characters, the benefits of handing over control to artists proves to be a great decision. The idea behind The Characters is risky and brilliant: up-and-coming comedians are given half an hour (or so) each to fill the time with sketches however they want to.”
~Tim Surette Netflix’s Flaked and The Characters Review: One Works, and One Really, Really, Does Not (2016)

“Some of you have characterized art requiring a creative process but so does entertainment. Also some have said art is expression but entertainment can also be expression … The most common theme I see in your answers is that art is for thinking and entertainment is for enjoyment.”
~Justin “best answer” for What is the difference between art and entertainment? (2006)

Howl was written sort of in despair of writing poetry. I figured I hadn’t succeeded at writing anything interesting. So I said well I’ll just write for myself and I’ll forget about any idea of publishing poetry … I was completely free to write anything I wanted. And if you don’t show anybody, you can do anything you want. That’s the funny part, which is why the poem is good, because it was written for my own privacy.”
~Allen Ginsberg ALLEN GINSBERG Interview BBC 1994 (1994)

“Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Motherfuck him and John Wayne …
Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps.”
~Public Enemy Fight the Power (1989)

Interviewer Aaron Lefkove – “Do you feel there is a quantifiable number you could assign to the type of recognition you’ve gotten from living your personal life in a very public venue?”
Emily Gould – “… Not to be totally college but I think that fame is just a signifier that has become completely disassociated from what it used to signify; just the idea that you can have some kind of renown and it automatically means that money and power would accrue to you. Let’s just be real here.”
~Jewcy Interviews Emily Gould (2010)

“PhD, MFA, self-taught—the only things you must have to become a writer are the stamina to continue and a wily, cagey heart in the face of extremity, failure, and success.”
~Alexander Chee MFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction (2014)

“Days after (Edgar Allan) Poe’s death, his literary rival Rufus Griswold wrote a libelous obituary of the author in a misguided attempt at revenge … Griswold followed the obituary with a memoir in which he portrayed Poe as a drunken, womanizing madman with no morals and no friends. Griswold’s attacks were meant to cause the public to dismiss Poe and his works, but the biography had exactly the opposite effect and instead drove the sales of Poe’s books higher than they had ever been during the author’s lifetime. Griswold’s distorted image of Poe created the Poe legend that lives to this day while Griswold is only remembered (if at all) as Poe’s first biographer.”
~Poe’s Life Who is Edgar Allan Poe?

* * * * *

Eamon Loingsigh is the author of four books of fiction. Exile on Bridge Street (Three Rooms Press) is due out October, 2016. His previous Litkicks contributions include Lautreamont, The Other and Why I Wrote ‘Light of the Diddicoy’. He is @eamonloi on Twitter and his website is artofneed.

9 Responses

  1. Grate peas, Eamon.
    Grate peas, Eamon.

    I meme that.

    “Dalí and Buñuel trawled their subconscious minds to come up with bizarre sequences that assault bourgeois values and sexual oppression.”
    ~Philip French The Guardian (2011)

    This is untrue. There was to be nothing of any purposeful or rational meaning. Such would be thrown out. Assault of pourquois values and sexual selection would constitute purposeful rational meaning.

    Philippes French Dip is wrong. Accept no less from a Mansfester Gahoolian wronger.

  2. TKG,
    Shmart feller, here’s the fool quoth b’low . . .

    “For both films Dalí and Buñuel trawled their subconscious minds to come up with bizarre sequences that assault bourgeois values and sexual oppression while making no logical sense. . .”

  3. I just finished reading this.
    I just finished reading this. I guess it is supposed to be a verbal-collage of the present literary scene? All I know of it is squat.
    I am always looking for a good read and mostly what I read now are comics, viz., “graphic novels”.

  4. Hi Eamon, thanks.
    Hi Eamon, thanks.

    Here is the quote from Buñuel lui-même.

    From My Last Sigh.

    “”No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted.”

    I think the Guardian writer (wronger) violates this in saying they trawled their minds to come up with images that assault bourgeois values and sexual oppression because that would lend the idea or image to a rational explanation.

    “Of any kind” – not “no rational explanation except as a kind that lends itself to being seen an assault on bourgeois values or sexual oppression.”

    Am I making myself redundant enough?

    I am criticizing Phillipe French Dip (if you don’t get the joke, google it), not you.

    I think this is a great piece!

  5. TKG and Eamon, I’ll have to
    TKG and Eamon, I’ll have to stand with Eamon on this one. The fact that Bunuel said this about his work doesn’t mean it was true. I never accept an artist’s statements about his or her own work on face value. They are artists, and will say whatever they want to say.

  6. “… Dalí and Buñuel trawled
    “… Dalí and Buñuel trawled their subconscious minds to come up with bizarre sequences that assault bourgeois values and sexual oppression while making no logical sense. . .”

    Same as the Increasingly Surreal Presidential Election Cycle, if you perhaps invert the bits about bourgeois values and sexual oppression. Makes no logical sense at all.

  7. I guess you could say that
    I guess you could say that the ’70s were the “last of an era” of sorts, for better or worse. The Digital Revolution was just around the corner, and The Corporate Takeover In General really took hold, beginning in the ’80s.

    I’m still fascinated by McKenna’s “novelty theory” stuff. This tiny little corner of cosmos is stacking complexity on top of complexity, exponentially, which goes against thermo and the universe in general… (So there must be a God, right?)

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