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Splitting myself in two

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Old 01-01-2018, 05:20 PM
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Default Splitting myself in two


I want to write a query letter enticing an agent to survey my collection of essays and put them into a book.

I have a distinct tendency to formulate ideas that do not go together. Some of my ideas are left wing. Some of my ideas are right wing. My ideas do not contradict one another, but they are incongruent, e.g., being against gun control and opposing Trumpís economic policies do not contradict each other, but the kind of people who are against gun control generally like Trump.

I donít want to sound unduly sarcastic, but I donít think people read things to be edified; I think they read to find their biases and prejudices confirmed and affirmed.

Since sometimes I might be termed a liberal, and at other times I might be termed a conservative, I fear that everyone will hate me. (Actually, the terms liberal and conservative are too vague and plebian for my viewpoints; I am using these terms as a sort of short hand.)

My questions:

1) Would an agent tend to decline to look at an author with incongruent viewpoints?

2) Should I Solomon-like (sorry for my delusions of grandeur) divide the corpus of my essays into two books, one for the left and one for the right or would that seem deceptive, dishonest and cowardly?

Finally, although I think I usually write fluidly and gracefully, somehow I get
very klutzy when I write to people in the literary community. I feel like the country bumpkins in the Beverley Hillbillies (Do you remember that sit com) eating possum stew among people who have only dined on the French delights of Escoffier. So pardon me if this post is dreadfully awkward.

I hope some readers will answer my question. I posted this question someplace else and readers raised all sorts of issues but did not answer my question. Among other things, they said that if I was not a designated expert in politics, psychology etc. how could I be deemed qualified to write essays on those subjects.

Actually, one of my essays explains why experts in a discipline have a tendency to rehash the same tired ideas and require the infusion of provocative thought by people alien to their field.

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Old 01-01-2018, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DoggedDavid View Post
I want to write a query letter enticing an agent to survey my collection of essays and put them into a book.



I have a distinct tendency to formulate ideas that do not go together. Some of my ideas are left wing. Some of my ideas are right wing. My ideas do not contradict one another, but they are incongruent, e.g., being against gun control and opposing Trumpís economic policies do not contradict each other, but the kind of people who are against gun control generally like Trump.



I donít want to sound unduly sarcastic, but I donít think people read things to be edified; I think they read to find their biases and prejudices confirmed and affirmed.



Since sometimes I might be termed a liberal, and at other times I might be termed a conservative, I fear that everyone will hate me. (Actually, the terms liberal and conservative are too vague and plebian for my viewpoints; I am using these terms as a sort of short hand.)



My questions:



1) Would an agent tend to decline to look at an author with incongruent viewpoints?



2) Should I Solomon-like (sorry for my delusions of grandeur) divide the corpus of my essays into two books, one for the left and one for the right or would that seem deceptive, dishonest and cowardly?



Finally, although I think I usually write fluidly and gracefully, somehow I get

very klutzy when I write to people in the literary community. I feel like the country bumpkins in the Beverley Hillbillies (Do you remember that sit com) eating possum stew among people who have only dined on the French delights of Escoffier. So pardon me if this post is dreadfully awkward.



I hope some readers will answer my question. I posted this question someplace else and readers raised all sorts of issues but did not answer my question. Among other things, they said that if I was not a designated expert in politics, psychology etc. how could I be deemed qualified to write essays on those subjects.



Actually, one of my essays explains why experts in a discipline have a tendency to rehash the same tired ideas and require the infusion of provocative thought by people alien to their field.


Iím no expert either (but I play one on this forum, ha ha).

There is a small group of people Iíve been listening to and reading lately who have started to bridge the divide between mainstream conservatism and itís counterpart on the left. In fact, Iím hoping this rational approach to politics, society, culture, and governance takes hold and grows. So, there might be a market for the kind of stuff youíre talking about.

If I were you, I would brand myself an ďoutside the boxĒ thinker and run with that. Look at people like Bret Weinstein, Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, and the like. I started hearing about these people through the Joe Rogan podcast. To be honest, these guys are mostly established intellectuals in their fields, but they express opinions on all kinds of things outside the scope of their expertise.

And most of our politicians are/were lawyers, so youíve got that going for you. I mean, unless you were an ambulance chasing personal injury lawyer, you probably have some cred as an intellectual.


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Old 01-01-2018, 07:38 PM
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Oh yeah, lots of people would probably try to use your essays as a tool for their cause, whatever it is. And you might get misrepresented. Iím not sure what you can do about that except keep to the truth as you see it.

And... I have no idea the state of the current publishing industry. I canít imagine itís good, though.

Maybe you could start a YouTube channel to express your ideas. See if it catches on.


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Old 01-12-2018, 09:50 PM
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Brian, thanks for your perceptive comments.

You indicated that some people are neither on the left nor the right and have novel and intriguing ways of looking at things.

There are people like that, and I welcome novel and provocative ways of viewing stuff, but it really can be very hard when you don't fit in with a certain group.

Let me give you an example: Camile Pagila.

She is a lesbian, and she is a feminist, but man she has the sort of ideas that can repel most feminists and most anti-feminists and for YEARS no one would publish her.

For example: She supports a woman's right to abortion. However, at the same time she says that abortion is murder and that there is no way getting around that. Both pro life and pro choice people can hate her.

(She is a bit more acceptable now as she is becoming more like a standard feminist, muting those ideas that are incongruent with feminism)

I just happen to think that most people don't really read stuff to learn stuff. I think they want to read a confirmation and/or affirmation of their biases. Liberals read what liberals write and conservatives read what conservatives right. (Remember the Woody Allen move "Annie Hall." He is furious that Diane Keaton has a copy of National Review in her house.)

Another example: I was sitting in a class being taught by Stanley Aronowitz at Columbia Univeristy. He was considered one of the most erudite and profound Socialist scholars in America. I said that I had always had a sympathy for socialism, but I had feared that it might constrain human freedom and that the determinism of socialist philosophers was inconsistent with free will, something that I cherished.

Then, Aronowitz, instead of addressing my concern, proceeded to act in a sort of eccentric, hysterical way. He said something like this, "Oh, my dear, Free Will is nothing but the wine of the bourgeosie (I have use that word since I was 12, but I still can't spell it)." Champers and chablis and free will. It all sounds very beautiful and elegant but it's quite trivial."

He was teaching us how to behave like the sort of affected rich, phony leftists of New York's wealthiest precincts who always have a knack for putting Republicans in the Whitehouse.
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DoggedDavid View Post
Brian, thanks for your perceptive comments.

You indicated that some people are neither on the left nor the right and have novel and intriguing ways of looking at things.

There are people like that, and I welcome novel and provocative ways of viewing stuff, but it really can be very hard when you don't fit in with a certain group.

Let me give you an example: Camile Pagila.

She is a lesbian, and she is a feminist, but man she has the sort of ideas that can repel most feminists and most anti-feminists and for YEARS no one would publish her.

For example: She supports a woman's right to abortion. However, at the same time she says that abortion is murder and that there is no way getting around that. Both pro life and pro choice people can hate her.

(She is a bit more acceptable now as she is becoming more like a standard feminist, muting those ideas that are incongruent with feminism)

I just happen to think that most people don't really read stuff to learn stuff. I think they want to read a confirmation and/or affirmation of their biases. Liberals read what liberals write and conservatives read what conservatives right. (Remember the Woody Allen move "Annie Hall." He is furious that Diane Keaton has a copy of National Review in her house.)

Another example: I was sitting in a class being taught by Stanley Aronowitz at Columbia Univeristy. He was considered one of the most erudite and profound Socialist scholars in America. I said that I had always had a sympathy for socialism, but I had feared that it might constrain human freedom and that the determinism of socialist philosophers was inconsistent with free will, something that I cherished.

Then, Aronowitz, instead of addressing my concern, proceeded to act in a sort of eccentric, hysterical way. He said something like this, "Oh, my dear, Free Will is nothing but the wine of the bourgeosie (I have use that word since I was 12, but I still can't spell it)." Champers and chablis and free will. It all sounds very beautiful and elegant but it's quite trivial."

He was teaching us how to behave like the sort of affected rich, phony leftists of New York's wealthiest precincts who always have a knack for putting Republicans in the Whitehouse.


Yeah, I see your point. However, I am of another mind.

Sometimes art can become business, but business can never be art.

If you are interested in business, sacrifice your art in hopes that the watered-down product will be enough to produce revenue.

If you are an artist: Fuck all the fuckers who say stupid shit and try to dip their fingers in your pie in order to make their mark off the back of your creativity, and Fuck their mothers too! And their sisters! And heíll, fuck their brothers too!!


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Old 02-04-2018, 11:57 AM
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There are any number of characters in modern popular fiction that are politically ambivalent or conflicted. Steven Hunter's Bob Lee Swagger books are good examples.

Read a couple of John Sandford's novels with detective Virgil Flowers to get a sense of this, also.
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Or explore the self published route. At least until you've established yourself.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:03 PM
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[QUOTE=brianpatrick; And heíll, fuck their brothers too!!
[/QUOTE]


Either loose the comma or loose the apostrophe if you want the line to be intelligible, eh?
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:45 PM
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Just send it to them. Once it leaves your hands it becomes a matter of commerce. If there is a buck to be make they will go for it.

Or start your own podcast and toss the ideas out there.
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