Tuesday, December 23, 2008

mmm, delicious kool-aid

I’m fresh off a couple of conversations with new or rejuvenated writers who are positively giddy about the indie fiction scene and their own successes within it, and predictably, doubts prowl the perimeter of these exchanges, taking the form of familiar rationalizations about net vs print, short vs long, etc. It might be a tired subject for those of us who abandon or embrace the values of our MFA programs when it pleases, but the anxiety for other writers, including those not in or fresh out of academia, is still pretty real. And so permission, even from an asshole, is a powerful thing. I yearn to move beyond my canned responses about industry and technology shaping the aesthetic to get to a discussion that is not so freaking circumstantial: flash on the net—at least the best of it, which is a lot—manages to reclaim written fiction as essential. It is fiction that must be itself form-wise, resisting subjection to other forms. I know: duhhhh.

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