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NY "vs." the West 

Over at New West they're debating the poor-stepchild condition of western writing as seen from New York. I contributed to the conversation (it's best read in context) but now I'm having second thoughts.

First of all, this is a very old debate, and I have to believe that every region of this country other than Manhattan island feels underappreciated by the New York literary giants. And these days, with technology lowering barriers to producing powerful new giants, isn't it better to stop complaining and just go do it?

But most importantly, although New York probably abets some lame mythologizing about the West, there are an awful lot of Western writers who've done quite well by it. Writers like to live in the West, they like to write about the West, and luckily for them, lots of people apparently like to read about the West as well. Even if the hand's not feeding you 100 percent steaks, it still might not be a good idea to bare your teeth.

(I was halfway through that paragraph when I realized that maybe instead of using "they" to describe Western writers I could use "we." Why didn't I? Inferiority complex, disingenuousness, justly-deserved humility...? Come to think of it, I'm not even comfortable answering that question!)

Join the discussion at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnclaytonoutreach/, or let me know your thoughts via info at johnclaytonbooks (and you can fill in the rest).

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