A tribute to C. Michael Curtis and a world gone by.
Very interesting notes on C. Michael Curtis. I too am sad that he and his kind have gone away. A HUGE thank you for recommending A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley. I believe I have raved about it before in this space, thanks to you. It really does deserve wider readership. I was thinking just last night about how Kelley's characters are in some senses archetypal, and employed effectively to make his points, but they are also satisfyingly real people. Just one of his many strengths.
As a young writer today, what would you guess is the best route: literary journals? Publishing on Substack and building an audience? Something else?
(Finally circling back to this.)
I never submitted anything to C. Michael Curtis, but I've read a rejection he wrote several times--it's to an article* my godfather wrote about the demise of Parsons College and is among my father's papers, as my dad was deeply involved in the story of said demise. I've read the article, too, and it's not quite good. Curtis's response is a page or two long and precisely nails just what isn't working in the piece but does so in the most courteous and useful way possible. It's stayed with me.
*Why Curtis was handling an article and not a piece of fiction is probably related to who my godfather was at the time and that he was primarily a fiction writer, or at least that's my guess.