"There is another way to become famous: Start an aesthetic movement. When you do that, you move literature out of the fiction-world and into the fact-world. Movements can be written about in non-fiction articles, which will interest readers probably even more than the fictive works themselves."
"How reliable a guide is fame? Not reliable at all. The most famous American novel of the 19th century wasn’t Moby-Dick, it was not The Scarlet Letter, not The Awakening, not Portrait of a Lady: It was Augusta Evans’s St. Elmo. Ever read it? Ever even heard of it? Probably not."
"People should make the art they want to make, and that art will find whatever audience it finds. If you happen to like pistachio-raspberry ice cream with Oreo crumbles, who has the right to tell you you shouldn’t like it? "
"Luckily, here in these United States, we don’t have to depend entirely on the big trade-book houses for new literature. We have the university presses and the small presses, both publishing poetry and fiction. And anyone who has the least grasp of what’s what realizes that these presses must be taken just as seriously (more seriously?) than the for-profit publishers. The process of expanding available first-order fiction and poetry can’t be entrusted to company men whose eyes are focused only on the bottom line."
And the loveable Steven Fellner frequently leaves comments on Mr. Corn's blog. They're almost as good as the posts themselves:
"How exciting that an insignificant person like myself can write a response to the deservedly well-respected poet Ron Slate on Alfred Corn's blog! It's weird how I can feel like I matter (mistakenly so, happily so) when I feel that way simply because I'm writing to a poet who matters on a bog by a poet who matters. I feel upwardly mobile."
"Also the market is so oversaturated in poetry that no one reall cares if youre attractive or not. I have hot gay male friends who would be more than willing to sleep their way to the top, but it doesnt matter: there's not enough room for everyoe deserving to haev a book. (I always wanted to sleep my way to the top but fortunately or unfortunbately I'm unattrtactive and dumby: no sex appeal: and it took me years and years to publish my almost mediocre, uneven book.)"