Man Writes Twitter Essay on “MFA vs. NYC”

The following essay was transcribed from @bobbybaird‘s Twitter feed.

The new [at] nplusonemag is very good on the NYC/MFA split. I’ve also been worried that poetry’s economic present presages lit-fiction’s future 1:01 AM Nov 12th via Twitter for iPad

And they’re smart to name readability as the outer bound of both MFA & NYC lit, with the Nabokov-Gaddis-DFW line as the lamentable casualty. 1:34 AM Nov 12th via web

Bernstein & Goldsmith like to say poetry is 50 yrs behind everything, but the fiction split now is a lot like the poetry split of the 70s. 1:39 AM Nov 12th via web

In the 70s the impulse to radical formal experiment in poetry (whether motivated by avant-garde politics or not) went underground. 1:50 AM Nov 12th via web

It emerged in the 80s in Sulfur and Language, who originally hated each another but decided they hated the mainstream pincer-lock more. 1:55 AM Nov 12th via web

Today the best candidate for a third-party fiction faction is the weird-lit encouraged by Brown’s MFA & Conjunctions. 1:57 AM Nov 12th via web

It’s out of this orbit that you get whatever’s good in McSweeney’s fiction, and, much further downstream, htmlgiant and the rest. 2:04 AM Nov 12th via Tweetie for Mac

One test of the theory will be whether we look back on Omnidawn’s PARASPHERES as snagging the start of something. http://bit.ly/b5au8R 2:05 AM Nov 12th via bitly

But much as I admire and want to encourage the third-party push, I can’t pretend that it’s making a great case for more attention. 2:08 AM Nov 12th via Tweetie for Mac

I’ll be first in line for a stall in which puke over the pieties of, say, LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN. 2:10 AM Nov 12th via Tweetie for Mac

But who’s going to play Nader to Junot Díaz or Jonathan Franzen? Eve[n]son? He’s a good guy & interesting writer, but come on. 2:14 AM Nov 12th via Tweetie for Mac

Which leaves us with who? If I didn’t know Tao Lin existed, I would’ve guessed Zadie Smith invented him to dramatize her Facebook essay. Fri Nov 12 02:23:42 2010 via Tweetie for Mac

There are, as someone said to me, two flavors of htmlgiant: stupid and Justin Taylor. But forget the hype; JT’s stories are MFA mainstream. Fri Nov 12 02:28:12 2010 via Tweetie for Mac

I hope I’m wrong that fiction will become what poetry is, and not only for selfish reasons. Fri Nov 12 02:31:15 2010 via Tweetie for Mac

And I think it’s simply the case that the importance of coteries varies inversely with the material rewards of publishing. Fri Nov 12 02:32:10 2010 via Tweetie for Mac

So maybe we keep hoping that the solitary experimenters, the Katherine Dunns and David Mitchells, get along well enough to carry the torch Fri Nov 12 02:33:52 2010 via Tweetie for Mac

[at] Syntaxidermist Right? You could justly ask how much Langpo stands up 30 yrs on, but at least you had Howe, Palmer, Armantrout in the orbit Fri Nov 12 02:43:59 2010 via Tweetie for Mac in reply to Syntaxidermist

I say that as someone whose own fiction is hardly experimental at all. But if I could do it well, I would. I love reading the good stuff. Fri Nov 12 02:52:57 2010 via web

Okay, I’m done. God, the blog compulsion dies hard. Fri Nov 12 02:53:18 2010 via web

And, man, love them or hate them, at least in a blog when you bonehead a typo like “each another” you can fix it. #notfitforrealtimewriting Fri Nov 12 02:59:34 2010  via web

Related Articles

Issue 11 Dual Power

Many years ago, n+1 interns determined that Tyvek was the best packaging material by throwing a Tyvek-wrapped issue against a wall.

Issue 19 Real Estate

Broadband providers have an incentive to use their control of the network to disadvantage their competition.

Issue 14 Awkward Age

When intimacy is your model of success, it becomes easy to assume that everyone is either a friend or a traitor.

September 25, 2013

I gave in to my sentimental and distinctly un-businesslike impulse to save a book I loved all those years ago.