THE MODERN DEATH
Literature is deep and anguished,
But pseudo-literature is shallow and smug.
Literature allows one to peer
Into the anguished heart
Of its principal character,
Pseudo-literature hinges upon the smug sociability
Of its superficial characters.
There is criticism in literature,
A deep, penetrating criticism of man and society,
A 'Steppenwolfian' revolt of
The higher spirit against the world.
Pseudo-literature may, if Marxist,
Criticize the bourgeoisie,
But it will glorify the proletariat
And their social/industrial achievements.
Literature reveals what lies hidden beneath
The veil of expedient custom and politeness.
Pseudo-literature's only concern is with the veil,
The performance of everyday society.
If literature is akin to
The soulful kernel of creative writing,
Then pseudo-literature is the materialist husk.
If literature is essence,
Then pseudo-literature is appearance, reflecting
The degeneration of the novel
From profundity to superficiality, commensurate with
A progressively more commercial tendency.
Literature is dead or dying,
But pseudo-literature proclaims
Its base, automaton-like existence
From the rooftops of contemporary publishers,
Like a vulture gloating over a carcass.
Pseudo-literature is the death-in-life,
The zombie-like complacency of commercial man.