Saturday, April 03, 2004

Responding to Gary and the Gray Wyvern:

I just knew I was going to get smacked by somebody for mentioning the Amazon thing in the same breath as my (far less informed) defense of Marx (or rather, the Marxian). I almost threw in a deflecting ironic remark and then decided to let the contradiction stand. After all, we can't simply will ourselves beyond the market. Our very blogs are supported either by advertising or our own money.

As for the point Michael makes (see Gary's comments box), it reminds me of an adage I heard somewhere, "There's no money in poetry, but there is money in being a poet." The glamor of the author(ity) is something I try to deflect, but there's no question that I'm interested in recognition as a precondition for community. I want to be heard and it seems to be heard I have to be seen. Thus my concern for my book's image; thus my own image on its back cover. The aims of community building and the aims of commodity building do travel along parallel lines up to a point, even have the same aura from a distance. Who will judge our good faith? Will we be able to resist the lure of becoming immortal undead images?

The least I can do is try to prevent this metamorphosing discussion from being known simply as the "Mike-Josh" debate. I want the conversation to expand as much as possible. And one thing I've relished about becoming a published, experienced writer is that, just as I've felt the distance between me and those I used to think of as "authors" diminish, so too have I felt the distance diminish between me and "readers." Everyone's a writer, or nobody is. Anyone with the interest and the will can join the conversation. That's never been more true.

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