LET'S SMASH THE LITERARY WORLD WITH A WRECKING BALL!

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LET'S SMASH THE LITERARY WORLD WITH A WRECKING BALL!

Postby WolfLarsen » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:36 pm

THE WOLF LARSEN MANIFESTO

1. All great Writers should gather at the entrances of the major publishing houses and urinate on their doorsteps!

2. All great Poets should use the pages of the country’s most prestigious literary magazines as toilet paper!

3. All “poets” that rhyme should be castrated at once!

4. Poetry and prose should be immoral and blasphemous! If your poetry shocks and offends religious extremists, puritanical feminists, politicians, black nationalists, white supremacists, and everybody else than you’re probably doing something right! The paintings of Picasso, the symphonies of Mahler, and the sculptures of Rodin shocked and offended many people too! The last thing the world needs is more boring polite “literature”!

5. If you write prose just like ten thousand other writers than why bother writing? Garbage men contribute far more to society than “writers” and “poets” that write like everybody else! No two authors or poets should read even remotely alike!

6. From this day forward the words Poet, Writer, Sculptor, Playwright, Painter, Composer, and all other Artists should appear in capitals. After all, some guy named god who doesn’t even exist appears in capitals and since Artists are greater than god than words like Poet and Artist should be capitalized.

7. There is no god as written in the bible. Rather, every Human Being that lives on earth is a god because Humans are the most creative animals on the planet. Therefore, Artists are gods!

8. Who cares about the rules of grammar? Take a baseball bat and SMASH the rules of grammar into pieces! Language must obey the wishes of the Writer. The Writer should take language and mold it and reshape it as he sees fit just like a Sculptor.

9. Poets and Writers need to look at the rest of the art world and learn. Poetry and fiction currently appear to be the most backward mediums of the art world. Painting has raced forward like a fast car, jazz music has run forward like a rabbit, even classical music in the last hundred years has left the writing world behind in both innovation and boldness. Writing and poetry are progressing forward at a crawl – just like a snail. All Poets and Writers should think of themselves as wrecking ball operators – we must SMASH the literary world as we know it into bits with a bold and revolutionary writing!

10. The system we live under has nothing to offer but endless wars, prisons, poverty, homophobia, racial and gender discrimination, class oppression, anti-sex puritanism, and human extinction from nuclear war. The literary establishment has nothing to offer us but airport novels, censorship (in the form of political correctness), pretentious “literary” magazines filled with hack “poetry” that sometimes even rhymes, and the never ending boring banal “well-polished” “well-crafted” “literary” fiction whose main purpose seems to be to help insomniacs fall asleep. Bartok’s symphonies don’t help people fall asleep! Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring caused a riot when it was first played! Jackson Pollock’s paintings can hardly be considered sleepy! Poetry and literature must become explosive, chaotic, alive, exciting, dynamic, etc. – just like the times we live in!

11. More than anything else remember there is no one else like you on the entire planet! So why should you write like everybody else? Write like nobody else writes! If you’re not creative than why should future generations bother reading your writing? Every Writer should be his own literary movement! Every Writer should be his own literary revolution!

Copyright 2004 by Wolf Larsen
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Postby Saturn » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:11 pm

A literary call to arms :shock:

I agree with a lot of this.
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Postby greymouse » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:19 pm

WolfLarsen wrote:All Poets and Writers should think of themselves as wrecking ball operators – we must SMASH the literary world as we know it into bits with a bold and revolutionary writing!


I can agree with some items in the manifesto, but the problem is none of these steps can be revolutionary at all, since they are basically just a rehash of concepts developed during the last century. The manifesto should explicitly acknowledge that you are attempting to resurrect the style of Ginsberg, cummings, Joyce, Corso, dada, etc. so that people will know you're aware it's a "neo-" movement.

"There is nothing new under the sun." This is a call to arms to return to the established style of the 20th century, and it will be perceived by most writers as such. Also, many writers will find it too conformist and restrictive a screed since it dictates too many aspects of writing style as well as suggesting a system of religious and political beliefs. It will be impossible to achieve the diversity of writing styles you desire under this system.
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Postby dks » Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:48 pm

greymouse wrote:
WolfLarsen wrote:All Poets and Writers should think of themselves as wrecking ball operators – we must SMASH the literary world as we know it into bits with a bold and revolutionary writing!


I can agree with some items in the manifesto, but the problem is none of these steps can be revolutionary at all, since they are basically just a rehash of concepts developed during the last century. The manifesto should explicitly acknowledge that you are attempting to resurrect the style of Ginsberg, cummings, Joyce, Corso, dada, etc. so that people will know you're aware it's a "neo-" movement.

"There is nothing new under the sun." This is a call to arms to return to the established style of the 20th century, and it will be perceived by most writers as such. Also, many writers will find it too conformist and restrictive a screed since it dictates too many aspects of writing style as well as suggesting a system of religious and political beliefs. It will be impossible to achieve the diversity of writing styles you desire under this system.


Well declared, greymouse. I admire your passion, however, Wolf.
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Hello

Postby WolfLarsen » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:42 am

Thank you Saturn and dks.

Grreymouse thinks I'm trying to return to the 20th Century. He is incorrect.

The 20th Century was filled with isms - cubism, surrealism, abstract impressionism, etc.

The only ism I support is INDIVIDUALISM. I hope that every Writer, Painter, Sculptor will make art in his own individual style.

We are all different. Therefore, I believe we should all play music or write or paint differently. Why imitate the greats of the past? Only Charlie Parker should play like Charlie Parker. We should all break into new ground whether we play music or write or paint because as Human Beings we are all unique or should be unique and therefore we should each and every one of us play music or write in a unique manner - to do otherwise is not to be true to yourself. Hence, there is No inherently correct way to write.

Cheers!

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Publishing jobs - low pay looong hours

Postby WolfLarsen » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:46 am

I do not understand why some literary magazines are considered prestigious and others are not. Often - but not always - when I open a "prestigious" "widely-respected" literary magazine I find horrible "poetry" that rhymes.
However, many excellent literary magazines that publish exciting innovative work are not given the kind of publicity and support that they deserve.

How unfortunate.

Also, I do not blame people working in the traditional publishing industry for the fact that too many books are too much alike. Even if an editor personally LOVES a manuscript that may not matter, because the book must also be commercial. If that manuscript does not have STRONG commercial potential none of the major conglomerates will publish it.
I do not envy editors and other workers in the traditional publishing industry. They often put in very long hours. Their jobs are very demanding. They are often paid low wages that don't go far in expensive New York City where many of them live.
There is no job security. Employee turnover is high.
I also notice that few traditionally published books bear a "union bug" or union emblem. Perhaps the people printing up the books aren't paid all that well either.
I wonder if workers in the traditional publishing industry are like other workers throughout America - trying to do the jobs of two or three people on half the wages they rightfully deserve.
Cheers,
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Postby dks » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:28 am

Individualism is good...
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Postby Saturn » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:50 am

I resent the attack on rhymed poetry :evil:

You damn with that Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe, Pope, Dryden, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats and the vast majority of pre-20th century poetry :roll:

Rhyming poetry is every bit as relevant as blank or free verse.

So much for individualism :evil:
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Postby dks » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:34 pm

I've always adhered to the idea that rhyming poetry is necessary to understand and appreciate before you can fully know and love blank and free verse, as these more modern and unconventional forms of verse have their derivations in meter and rhyme.

The Romantics adhered to this idea; they believed one had to learn or study the "masters" in order to progress with one's own form of poetic synthesis. Keats certainly felt this way, as he had a few historical, poetic idols which he studied intensely--Spenser, Milton, and Shakespeare.

The Romantics also highly revered individualism--channeled through emotion--there was no "right" or "wrong" fashion or mold for this; however, and the end result is more unconventional themes, literary devices, and structures. They all knew the "masters' though--and highly esteemed them, I might add. :?
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Postby AhDistinctly » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:36 am

WolfLarsen wrote:1. All great Writers should gather at the entrances of the major publishing houses and urinate on their doorsteps!

It would appear that to be a great writer one must be male, or a female with very impressive bladder relief skills.

WolfLarsen wrote:2. All great Poets should use the pages of the country’s most prestigious literary magazines as toilet paper!

Why not just stop buying them? If “great” poets don’t like what they see in those magazines, turn to the free internet.

WolfLarsen wrote:3. All “poets” that rhyme should be castrated at once!

Why not one at a time?

WolfLarsen wrote:4. Poetry and prose should be immoral and blasphemous! If your poetry shocks and offends religious extremists, puritanical feminists, politicians, black nationalists, white supremacists, and everybody else than you’re probably doing something right! The paintings of Picasso, the symphonies of Mahler, and the sculptures of Rodin shocked and offended many people too! The last thing the world needs is more boring polite “literature”!

The only way to have immoral or blasphemous things is to accept that there are certain things that right and that some things are improper. Without the one you can’t have the other. Once you remove morality and sacredness from society, how do you shock it anymore?

WolfLarsen wrote:5. If you write prose just like ten thousand other writers than why bother writing? Garbage men contribute far more to society than “writers” and “poets” that write like everybody else! No two authors or poets should read even remotely alike!

Can’t one write just for the sake of writing? If not, where is the freedom promised by your manifesto? And if no two authors or poets can be even remotely similar, then all authors and all poets of any age must be purged, for one can find similarities in any genre from any time.

WolfLarsen wrote:6. From this day forward the words Poet, Writer, Sculptor, Playwright, Painter, Composer, and all other Artists should appear in capitals. After all, some guy named god who doesn’t even exist appears in capitals and since Artists are greater than god than words like Poet and Artist should be capitalized.

Aren’t you suddenly imposing grammar rules here? That seems hypocritical from someone who wants to smash such rules.

WolfLarsen wrote:7. There is no god as written in the bible. Rather, every Human Being that lives on earth is a god because Humans are the most creative animals on the planet. Therefore, Artists are gods!

Of course, it is your opinion that humans are the most creative. I’ve heard some fascinating bird songs that humans could never have composed.

WolfLarsen wrote:8. Who cares about the rules of grammar? Take a baseball bat and SMASH the rules of grammar into pieces! Language must obey the wishes of the Writer. The Writer should take language and mold it and reshape it as he sees fit just like a Sculptor.

This should be written thusly:

who cares about the rules of grammar take a baseball bat and smash the rules of grammar into pieces language must obey the wishes of the writer the writer should take language and mold it and reshape it as he sees fit just like a sculptor

Otherwise, you are applying grammar to make your point understandable.

WolfLarsen wrote:9. Poets and Writers need to look at the rest of the art world and learn. Poetry and fiction currently appear to be the most backward mediums of the art world. Painting has raced forward like a fast car, jazz music has run forward like a rabbit, even classical music in the last hundred years has left the writing world behind in both innovation and boldness. Writing and poetry are progressing forward at a crawl – just like a snail. All Poets and Writers should think of themselves as wrecking ball operators – we must SMASH the literary world as we know it into bits with a bold and revolutionary writing!

I would say instead that poets and writers are the most TRADITIONAL. They still rely on words to express themselves. Art has gone beyond marble, plaster, and paint on canvas. And music has embraced technology. The handcrafted djembe and shakaree have given way to Congotronics.

WolfLarsen wrote:10. The system we live under has nothing to offer but endless wars, prisons, poverty, homophobia, racial and gender discrimination, class oppression, anti-sex puritanism, and human extinction from nuclear war. The literary establishment has nothing to offer us but airport novels, censorship (in the form of political correctness), pretentious “literary” magazines filled with hack “poetry” that sometimes even rhymes, and the never ending boring banal “well-polished” “well-crafted” “literary” fiction whose main purpose seems to be to help insomniacs fall asleep. Bartok’s symphonies don’t help people fall asleep! Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring caused a riot when it was first played! Jackson Pollock’s paintings can hardly be considered sleepy! Poetry and literature must become explosive, chaotic, alive, exciting, dynamic, etc. – just like the times we live in!

Are not the times we live in shaped by the system under which we live? Or are the two completely separate? If our times are "explosive, chaotic, alive, exciting and dynamic," that actually sounds like we're doing something RIGHT. Yes, there are problems, but there always have been and always will be. That is the nature of our existence.

WolfLarsen wrote:11. More than anything else remember there is no one else like you on the entire planet! So why should you write like everybody else? Write like nobody else writes! If you’re not creative than why should future generations bother reading your writing? Every Writer should be his own literary movement! Every Writer should be his own literary revolution!

Yes! We are all unique. With unique vision. So, perhaps those among us who feel inspired to tear down the walls of tradition should forge ahead as examples rather than as a new generation of rule makers.

While I can’t say reading it was a pleasure, it was most certainly thought-provoking and provocative. Thanks for the interesting manifesto, WollfLarsen. :D
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Poetry that rhymes

Postby WolfLarsen » Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:31 am

I do not have a problem with pre-20th Century poetry that rhymes. However, I feel that the rhyme has played itself out - and usually sounds stale in contemporary poetry.

Cheers!

Wolf Larsen

P.S. I am happy to see that the post has generated this discussion!
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Postby Becky » Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:01 pm

No it doesn't!

No it hasn't!

Pre-20th century poetry that rhymes can sound stale if it's bad (loathe to use such a pejorative term, but you've pushed me to it. Of poor quality, maybe?), and this is exactly the same with 20th century stuff.

Most 'highbrow' literary magazines are now e-journals. How do you propose using them as toilet paper?
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Postby Saturn » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Becky wrote:
Most 'highbrow' literary magazines are now e-journals. How do you propose using them as toilet paper?


:lol:
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Some literary magazines and toilet paper

Postby WolfLarsen » Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:34 pm

Hi!

I don't think all literary magazines are bad. Many of them provide a venue for exciting innovative literature.

What I attack is the idea of prestige - it would be better if we threw that all out the window. Some of America's most prestigious (and traditional) literary magazines that have won endless awards are just awful! It seems that traditional writing is rewarded, and innovative writing is not.

Cheers!

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Re: LET'S SMASH THE LITERARY WORLD WITH A WRECKING BALL!

Postby bard of passion » Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:48 pm

WolfLarsen wrote:THE WOLF LARSEN MANIFESTO

1. All great Writers should gather at the entrances of the major publishing houses and urinate on their doorsteps!

2. All great Poets should use the pages of the country’s most prestigious literary magazines as toilet paper!

3. All “poets” that rhyme should be castrated at once!

4. Poetry and prose should be immoral and blasphemous! If your poetry shocks and offends religious extremists, puritanical feminists, politicians, black nationalists, white supremacists, and everybody else than you’re probably doing something right! The paintings of Picasso, the symphonies of Mahler, and the sculptures of Rodin shocked and offended many people too! The last thing the world needs is more boring polite “literature”!

5. If you write prose just like ten thousand other writers than why bother writing? Garbage men contribute far more to society than “writers” and “poets” that write like everybody else! No two authors or poets should read even remotely alike!

6. From this day forward the words Poet, Writer, Sculptor, Playwright, Painter, Composer, and all other Artists should appear in capitals. After all, some guy named god who doesn’t even exist appears in capitals and since Artists are greater than god than words like Poet and Artist should be capitalized.

7. There is no god as written in the bible. Rather, every Human Being that lives on earth is a god because Humans are the most creative animals on the planet. Therefore, Artists are gods!

8. Who cares about the rules of grammar? Take a baseball bat and SMASH the rules of grammar into pieces! Language must obey the wishes of the Writer. The Writer should take language and mold it and reshape it as he sees fit just like a Sculptor.

9. Poets and Writers need to look at the rest of the art world and learn. Poetry and fiction currently appear to be the most backward mediums of the art world. Painting has raced forward like a fast car, jazz music has run forward like a rabbit, even classical music in the last hundred years has left the writing world behind in both innovation and boldness. Writing and poetry are progressing forward at a crawl – just like a snail. All Poets and Writers should think of themselves as wrecking ball operators – we must SMASH the literary world as we know it into bits with a bold and revolutionary writing!

10. The system we live under has nothing to offer but endless wars, prisons, poverty, homophobia, racial and gender discrimination, class oppression, anti-sex puritanism, and human extinction from nuclear war. The literary establishment has nothing to offer us but airport novels, censorship (in the form of political correctness), pretentious “literary” magazines filled with hack “poetry” that sometimes even rhymes, and the never ending boring banal “well-polished” “well-crafted” “literary” fiction whose main purpose seems to be to help insomniacs fall asleep. Bartok’s symphonies don’t help people fall asleep! Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring caused a riot when it was first played! Jackson Pollock’s paintings can hardly be considered sleepy! Poetry and literature must become explosive, chaotic, alive, exciting, dynamic, etc. – just like the times we live in!

11. More than anything else remember there is no one else like you on the entire planet! So why should you write like everybody else? Write like nobody else writes! If you’re not creative than why should future generations bother reading your writing? Every Writer should be his own literary movement! Every Writer should be his own literary revolution!

Copyright 2004 by Wolf Larsen


Well, I guess this is copywrited so I'll probably be sued for reprinting it without the 'author's' permission! But, Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

This is the silliest stuff yet I have read and it's on a KEATS website!

Full of so much hot air and anger about not being viewed as a "Creative Artist:" WolfLarsen, learn the craft, learn the tradition, 'make it new' as Pound put it (from the Chinese no less!) for the new readers of your generation.

If you are lucky, others AFTER you may still read it. And when someone needs a doctoral thesis, she may dig your scribblings out and throw various critical theories at them until one sticks (neo-Marxist Feminist Deconstruction, maybe?) and then you start your march toward FAME and PARNASSUS.

All this sound and fury will not do. Creative does not equate to Good or even readable literature.

Quit playing Misunderstood Artist, we've been there and done that throughout our teen and college years, and remember what that French wag said: "Every stink that fights the ventilator thinks it's Don Quixote."

They're windmills, wolflarsen, not "prestigious literary magazines."

Every well known artist (regardless of medium) at one time "shocked" some critic or some audience or some convention.
Name the names, wolflarsen, who are these illuminati who control what is the holy of holies, the canon of ART???
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