I just read this great article by Ramon Glazov: “David Foster Wallace: A Portrait of an Infinitely Limited Mind.” If you are a fan of DFW or Dave Eggers, steer clear. Otherwise, take the time to read this.
Glazov cuts down most of the “good literature” and writers of the last decade as pretentious con men who reuse tropes without applying any new substance. Here’s a gem from the essay:
A story depicting vegetarianism as a Nazi war crime may well be the most retarded thing ever submitted for workshop, but at least it isn’t “didactic.” And that’s what hipsters care about above all else.
And unlike Augustine (who at least had some belief in free will) writers like Eggers and Wallace don’t even try to break out of the pattern because they find it cleverer to flaunt their (painless, terrorless) yuppie version of Mediaeval Scholasticism. (Or worse – because they think “analysis-paralysis” is the only intelligence there is.)
You get the idea. If you can attach to these two quotes, the article is worth reading. If not, I’d be interested in hearing a counterargument. I know it’s out there!
And even after reading this, I am still of fan of Brett Easton Ellis. Sometimes flaccid angst is entertaining in its own right. At least he doesn’t make me commit to 1000 pages.
Any thoughts? Any defenses of “hipster literature”? Anyone willing to argue with my use of a question mark outside of the quotations??? An speaking of grammar, one more quote from the article:
Wallace’s real gripe isn’t with “puff words,” or empty syllables, or even grammar mistakes. What he hates are plebeian writing errors – the innocent kind you’d hear from Joe Six-packs who haven’t studied creative writing or gotten properly sterilized by Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style. But he has no problem with “formicating,” or “Kekulean,” or “Hobbesian” (used simply to mean “savage”), or “martial” in the same sentence as “militaristic.” They may be puff words, but at least they’re not lowly, Middle American puff words.
Enjoy the read. Ramon Glazov from The Exiled Online (5/23/11)