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.