Alt Lit..doesn’t mean what I think it means.

So this is something I think about.

I read a lot of things, people, places with the Alt Lit Moniker.

I feel like I’m searching.

What am I looking for?

Community? Words that move me? Comfort? Interest?

I don’t know. Whatever it is I am not finding it.

For whatever reason (aesthetics or whatever) when I read a lot of the more popular Alt Lit I am left feeling cold and semi confused.

I suppose that so much of what I’m reading feels like I’m missing some key piece of information that would clear the skies and I’d “get” it.

Or maybe I’m just not cool.

I don’t know.

In my head I suppose that when I see Alt I want real alternatives in terms of not just style and aesthetics but in terms of diversity and whatnot.

I think part of my feelings about this in general stem from my inability to buy more of it. I want to read more than is available on blogs and whatnot.  That being what it is, I’m left with what I can read and a lot of it doesn’t give me something.


I’m yammering.

I’m reading Sententia #1 from ADP right now. I bought a copy of Roxane Gay’s book Ayti as well but I’m saving it.  So far I’m really enjoying it. Is ADP considered part of Alt Lit? I feel like it should be. The collection is diverse, I haven’t loved everything but it’s not homogeneous which is important to me.

I don’t know what I”m on about.

I’m greedy for something that I can only say is a feeling.  That sounds really fucking pretentious but it’s honest.

I want to as I’ve mentioned before, hurt or impacted. So much of the popular alt lit just leaves me too cold and it makes me sad.

Maybe I’m over thinking it.  I hate wanting to be into things and realizing I’m just not. On some level I feel like I’m maybe just being an asshole even though I know I’m not.

I am a complicated snowflake.

Can we talk for a minute about Eileen Myles new novel? It has TWO different covers. I apologize for nerding all over your face but I love that so much. I want to buy both of them.  I am such a nerd about these things. I wonder are the plates different? Is the typography different?   Read a tidbit here.

Okay I think I’m spent. This isn’t really what I’d intended to write but it is just not going to happen for me today.


4 thoughts on “Alt Lit..doesn’t mean what I think it means.

  1. Court Merrigan

    I know how you feel. I’ve felt just that way about alt lit, or indie lit, or mfa-program-sponsored-lit. Whatever it is.

    The problem, I have to come to think, is that this sort of writing is generally striving to be Nabokov, or Sylvia Plath, or Joy Williams, or Zora Neale Hurston, or Raymond Carver, or fucking David Foster Wallace, or whatever; Now, I love all these guys, but the problem is, not one writer in 10,000 can even begin to approximate any one of these greats, or the legions of other greats, which leaves a lot of chaff for us readers to look for wheat in.

    The postironic irony that so much of supposed “alt” lit wallows in (I’m looking at you, Muumuu House), too – that’s just the flip side of the mawkish sentimentality of some drugstore Harlequin romance, with the difference being, at least the romance is being honest.

    These days, I prefer pulp, in all its sundry forms. It’s entertainment. The instant it stops being entertaining, I quit reading. No guilt. When I’m lusting after beauty, I return to the Great Ones. Most of them just happen to be dead, is all.

    1. I gave it up finally. I’ve got such a process bitch of a brain I want to know why I’m so repelled. But I think at teh end it’s all those reasons. And more of them. And I think sometimes I just like to argue with myself.

  2. xtx33

    you can wanna be into something all day long but if the connection isn’t there it isn’t there.

    when david foster wallace died everyone went on and on about him and i had never heard of him. i picked up one of his books and couldn’t get past the third chapter. ugh.

    maybe i will pick it up again in five years and i will ‘get it’ maybe i will connect. i tried to like country music for a while. that didnt work either. but some of the songs are good.

    dont force round shit into a square hole. maybe one day that shit will fit itself. in the meantime, find shit that fits and enjoy it.

    1. I kept trying to read DFW for a long time. Couldn’t do it. Alt lit for me is like a toothache. On one hand I want to pry out the aching tooth with a screwdriver but of course it’s a bad idea. That’s how I feel about it.

      I think I keep going back because I read a few things that I enjoyed and then (because I’m a greedy bitch) I wanted more and there was no more. There was no more goodness only shit I don’t care about or don’t understand because I don’t know any of the people.

      I’m babbling, I should stop now.

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