Fiction

I could go on, talking about principles and enthusiasms I've advocated for over a decade now--principles and enthusiasms that have so little presence in classrooms today, at a time when everything prominent has been heavily merchandized, if not by merchants then by publicists, that I am prepared to give a B.A. (bull's ass) for anyone who has read five of the [fiction] authors mentioned above, an M.A. (mother's amulet) for anyone knowing eight and, finally, to anyone knowing them all, a D. Fict. (fictitious doctorate) cum very louda. While this work hasn't penetrated self-styled literary consciousnesses here, it does have some impact upon practitioners, and enthusiasts, in the other arts; and that fact, always true for genuinely avant-garde work in this backward country, leads me to believe that it will survive, as art can only survive, not in the classroom or in the publishing houses but in the esthetic memories of cultured people.

“Contemporary Fiction” (1988)