Thursday, September 08, 2005
"I feel that the questions really amount to Mark Sinker writing an obscure poem that pertains to his inner life more than to my life as a critic"--Frank Kogan, towards the end of this, and quite. I wonder why so few people replied to the questionaire? Music critics love nothing more than pontificating about the art/state/point/pitfalls etc etc of music criticism. The only people who love that self-reflexive self-aggrandising self-justificatory why do we this/whither next for the genre thing even more is another field of discourse with disputed and precarious status--science fiction writers. Maybe not so much nowadays (i couldn't tell you) but when I was an s.f. fiend in my mid-teens (s.f. not sci-fi--crucial semantic distinction for those-who-know, and i never went near a convention, ever, i'll have you know), which was the late Seventies, s.f. writers were constantly writing essays defending the genre (even issuing the odd paperback essay collection volume consisting of nothing but s.f. criticism), they were constantly debating canons and what was the cutting edge, they'd be attending writers workshops, and the like. As with rockwrite, a real combination of over-weening and messianic collective sense of purpose and destiny (s.f. as the only truly contemporary fiction with anything relevant or revelatory to say) combined with terrible feeling of insecurity and marginality and why-don't-they-take-us-seriously. But maybe all this self-reflexivity, that was the tail end of the New Wave of s.f., before the Stars Wars re-pulpification process really hit. For all I know, though, there's a whole other blogmos of s.f. discourse out there on the web, a serious one i mean as opposed to a space fantasy nerdiverse of fan prattle, and it's full of writing on a par with kpunk's fascinating riffs on k.w. jeter, a writer i only ever heard about before through a forced exposure interview from ooh must be at least 15 years back.