chatter not chatter

I’ve been following, peripherally, some of the chatter about the gender politics of literary celebrity (Franzen etc), and also, as a so-far-silent board member of the fledgling organization VIDA, gauging my responses to their project called “the count” in which they count the representation of female voices in prominent literary publications.  What I’ve been wondering, for art, today, for me trying to make art, trying to think about making art and making art today, is what the form of public discourse itself might have to do with my reluctance to join in on it, my anxiety (is it even anxiety?) about adding to the chatter, increasing it rather than actually affecting it or disturbing it.  I think this Slate article articulates some of what I’m feeling.  I’m not crazy about her concluding remarks, but I connected with a lot of what she depicts of her personal concerns, and I say no to stuff because of the stress, whatever that is or suggests about my value system.  Data, argument, sticking to your guns, voting it on or off.  I don’t just mean current click like etc, I mean deep down entrenched, yay vs. nay.  I can’t dig it, and I don’t want to do it, not when it comes to art.  Tonight I’m going to a shabby room a few blocks from my house where some old-school anarchists keep a secret library of books they send to the prisoners who request them.  I get to forge receipts.  Burp, I mean create.  What is it about public, what is it about persona, what is it about underground, about fiction itself–

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