A Forsley Feuilleton: If Richard Yates Wrote a Novel Called Tao Lin…Act One by Christopher Forsley
Christopher Forsley gets paid to pick up dog feces. In his non dog feces time he writes on the internet. Apparently he really digs the anonymous or pseudonymous writers from alt lit. That is what he mentions. Names are dropped as if they were steaming hot potatoes from a hot potato game gone wrong.
The establishment of writing is mentioned. Christopher mentions how he read one single Marie Calloway story. After reading the story he went back to his life of picking up dog waste. I know that field well. That’s a lucrative industry. Dogs will never run out of waste. If they did the economy would explode. America was built on dog waste. Entire economies have been built on waste. Look at Peru’s Guano Era from 1845 to 1866. Most of the Golden Periods of countries are built on waste. Without waste capitalism wouldn’t even exist.
Waste is part of Christopher’s initial criticism of alt lit. He says ‘All these young writers doing young writer things what a waste.’ From there he sequesters himself with pre-approved, clinically-tried material. The gatekeepers provide him with his reading material. Life goes on for Christopher as he continues to read the classics. Modern writing bores him. Comparing it to reading an internet board post he gives a hoot and reads a book. Poor alt lit never had a chance.
‘Alt lit is a bunch of privileged IPHONE-owning brats’ Christopher Forsley writes from his IPHONE. Listening only superficially to Andrea Coates rather than engaging her criticism as a way to get more involved he almost closes the book on alt lit. This would be foolish of course for alt lit has few books. It is an internet-based culture. Every time I see an alt lit book I get excited and think “Thank Goodness this exists”.
Chris Dankland pulls Christopher back into the alt lit universe. I love Chris Dankland. His selection of writers is a fairly good introduction. And when you’re dealing with somebody who has read only a single excerpt from alt lit you have to really wow them. If anybody can wow, it is a guy whose head is nothing more than a cloud of smoke. When you have your head in those kinds of clouds you begin to see clearly.
This makes Christopher take a closer look at alt lit. Apparently it is the beginning. His goal is to fully understand this phenomenon. With each twist and turn getting ever deeper into alt lit he will write about it. How many acts will this be? How does he know where he is going? Who can tell? I do plan on covering his journey into the heart of alt-ness.
I commend Christopher on his ability to re-evaluate his initial assessment. Usually people say ‘Well that tiny bit was terrible, let me not get involved’. Here Christopher is willing to give a second chance to alt lit, a thing that initially left him feeling cold. Hope he is warmed by the warmth of a new, growing, living and breathing literary movement.