Capitalist Realism, Shivani is nothing if not readable, frequently, and infuriatingly prolific. Huntsville-based Kim Davis, meanwhile, is a poet and a director of the literary review that is publishing Literary Writing in the 21st Century. Based on that relationship, this conversation is less likely to be a bloodsport, but should things go awry, who knows?
Writer and literary critic Anis Shivani is a lightning rod for literary controversy. His essays against MFA programs in creative writing, his casual flensing of the statuses of various canonized contemporary writers, and his unsparingly critical arguments agains the general institutionalization of creative writing have lent him the savor of a bete noire. If this sounds like damningly faint press, it is only because literature has been increasingly relegated to the outer margins of our culture for about fifty years. As recently as the early 1970s, literature departments were hotbeds of progressive thought and activism, and should we hope to try and experiment after the bedtime of capitalism and visual spectacle, perhaps it is time to fire up some pilot lights. Nonetheless, wherever you think about the world after the era of what cultural theorist Mark Fisher called