October 9th, 2006


New Paltz

Just returned from the SUNY New Paltz conference on Fantastic Genres, a very welcoming and intimate gathering that will grow larger in years to come no doubt. Many people I was glad to see, including Paul Witcover, Brett Cox, Helen Pilinovsky, Michael Cisco, Joan Gordon,and Jeffrey Ford, with whome I was somehow never able to exchange more than a few words, not even to bring up our online conversation, though we sat on a panel together; others I was glad to meet, such as Sarah Langan, who has an LJ (and a book, The Keeper, just out in PB), and Veronica Schanoes, who roomed with Helen at the Motel 87, a quite remarkably louche and sinister place beetling over a mantled pool and sheltering a cabless tractor-trailer with who knew what inside. COnference ably managed by Robert Waugh and John Langan. At the alst minute finally figured out (though had no chance to express) whythe much-talked-of H.P. Lovecraft can have a new status as canonical, or at least estimable in some way, despite having been a very bad writer in so many ways: it's HE who is the hero of his own writing, his sensibility is the subject, his fears and anguish, so in the postmodern way he can be great without being good -- like Celine -- why Michel Hoellebecq likes him or responds to him -- his own stance.