Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Janus-post: look both ways

Why do you feel that it is important that commercial fiction receive critical attention?
Jodi Picoult: Because historically the books that have persevered in our culture and in our memories and our hearts were not the literary fiction of the day, but the popular fiction of the day. Think about Jane Austen. Think about Charles Dickens. Think about Shakespeare. They were popular authors. They were writing for the masses.
vs.
Appreciation! Recognition! is Jove appreciated? Why, ever since Adam, who has got to the meaning of his great allegory--the world? Then we pigmies must be content to have our paper allegories but ill comprehended. 
--Melville to Hawthorne, in reply to a letter about Moby Dick, long considered a failure

"Thank goodness you're a failure--it's why I so distinguish you! Anything else to-day is too hideous. Look about you--look at the successes. Would you be one, on your honour?” 
--Henry James, The Ambassadors

5 comments:

  1. You and I know that good artists and writers, visionaries both, are often way ahead of their time. This is because immersing oneself inside the creative flow takes one outside an awareness of third-dimension time, and moves the creative person into at least the fourth and fifth dimensions. I have learned that the fourth dimension is the artist's point of power. Each now moment is a threshold to new and fresh choices. Also, I read somewhere that choice within this dimension allows one to consciously choose to initiate something else in any moment. Marly, you are the master of holding onto to contradictory truths in your writings. This juggling act is one of those things that makes your writings so rich and beautiful.

    The fifth dimension allows one to operate in reverence, beauty, and kindness. Now, I don't know what one author meant when they said that, "living in 5D, you move into Simultaneous Time, which allows one to see the broader perspective of All That Is." Sounds kinda New-Agey to me.

    So, for now, I'll stick with striving to work within the fourth dimension when working on art.

    YO

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  2. Miss Yo-Yo,

    I think you wrote the post and I the doodle this time! And thanks for the compliment...

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  3. Think about Marly Youmans.
    Marly Youmans expresses the modern world in language and imagery that does not nod to the vagaries of 'tomorrow', but that speaks to us today.
    Marly's work is no leap into the unknown. It is not a gamble. It is not a hope.
    Marly writes with all her understanding of what has brought us to where we are now - both in a literary sense and in the sense of humanity - and presents us with a summation of all that is - beautifully.
    Some find this uncomfortable. Too real. Too insightful.
    I love it.

    Marly risks being 'uncool' in a world where 'different' is synonymous with 'cool'.
    No-one DARES to be 'uncool'
    Marly... is unique and authentic.
    The new 'cool'.

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  4. I have introduced so many people to Marly's work. The thing that I love about the responses from them is this...
    "That was amazing". "This is really 'up there'. I loved it!" "I must find more of this". "Who IS she? She's really good!"

    The new Cool.
    People are not fools

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  5. Okay, that does it; I'm hiring you to be my official horn tooter!

    Is it all right if I pay you in fairy gold?

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.