WHY CHANGE THE SHORT STORY ART?
THE ATTITUDE throughout the literary world is that our stories are very good no one could do better so why change anything?
Yet art like everything in nature needs to adapt, mutate, change.
THERE ARE scores of bands today who can do anything the Rolling Stones did– in presentation, posturing, music– likely better, but the Stones got there first. Or almost first. Early enough.
Hundreds, maybe thousands of wannabe folk singers can sing and play the guitar as well or better than Bob Dylan ever did– some even write as well– yet Bob Zimmerman got there before them.
Dozens of singers in groups and bands can blend their voices as well as did the 70’s Swedish pop act ABBA. But ABBA did that kind of thing before them.
Here’s a photo of an ABBA sound-alike group from California, Music Go Music. They’re pretty good. Ever hear of them?
MEANWHILE, there are at least a hundred rock bands out there influenced by– and sounding and looking very much like– the classic rock band Led Zeppelin. Most prominent among them is Greta Van Fleet, which won the 2019 Grammy for Best Rock Band. (You know rock lost its cred and impetus when they created a Grammy category for it. Tamed and neutered.) Here’s a photo of the band:
What, are we back in the 1970’s? This is not called reinventing an art form, or even renewing it. It’s called recycling something which lost steam more than twenty years ago. It’s art going through the motions– staying alive in a culture, but barely. On life support. (The situation “Literature” has been in for decades.)
THERE ARE EVEN today painters who can paint just like Paul Gaugin and Vincent van Gogh (if not with quite their amount of passion and soul), but when those two artists came onto the scene no one was painting like they were painting.
We remember the pioneers, the innovators, the creators-not-regurgitators, in any field.
WHAT are we asking of short story writers?
We’re asking them to be prepared to scrap their current beliefs on how to write, to be ready to radically alter their present modes of writing– to be willing to change the way they view the art, because one way or another, from this corner or another, artistic change IS coming.
Not “Literature.” Instead: POP LIT.
-Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit NEWS