Saturday, July 14, 2012

from bad bad to worse


I have become the epitome of everything wrong in writing—

For example,

when the moralist Craig Morgan Teicher wants to insult a young poet, he uses his pulpit at Publishers Weekly to tar him or her with me—

2 examples: the first from his review of Chelsea Minnis's book "Bad Bad":

"Petulant, clever, sometimes funny, sometimes irritatingly flippant, Minnis's poems will inspire questions as to whether this work qualifies as poetry at all, though some readers — fans of, say, Bill Knott, at his silliest — may find much to like."

The second, again from a review in PW:

"[Karl] Parker is one of the oddest poets you're likely to meet. . .  No poet has had this kind of simultaneous reverence for and disregard of the poetic tradition since Bill Knott." 


—and here from another censurer, this tweet:

Bill Knott is Tao Lin in 30 yrs

Daniel Casey must really despise Tao Lin to say something this vicious.  To forecast such a horrible fate for this or any young writer seems kind of hardhearted and punitively pessimistic wouldn't you say.

Think of the sad miserable future Casey is predicting for this young writer Tao Lin: 30 years from now he will be detested, scorned and ridiculed by everyone in the literary establishment, his books will be rejected by every publisher, his work will never appear in anthologies, he will be blacklisted, declared persona non grata, etc., etc.  He will be unemployable.  He will never be invited to give readings or participate in conferences at the AWP or the PSA or Poets House or any other locus of lit-world power.  No magazine will publish his work.  His name will be a curse-word used to condemn other writers.  In short, his life will be the same as mine has been for as long as I can remember. 

It seems the worst insult you can apply to a young writer is to associate them with me.

Imagine how hurt and humiliated Minnis and Parker and Lin and others must feel to read such a cruel invidious comparison.

And then of course there's this:

"Bill Knott, the crown prince of bad judgment."
—Ron Silliman, Silliman's Blog, June 26, 2007

Yes: if you want to slashtag the wrongness and badness of any writer, just invoke my name.  You can't damn them worse than that.


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