Monday, May 12, 2003
You're just Eggering me on: You knew this would provoke a response from me, and since David Foster Wallace hasn't written anything in a while, you thought to take on his step-nephew Eggers. First of all I grant you this: the man is annoying. His "style" makes even the most straightforward point one that must be navigated with compass and sexton (and suspenders and a belt!). That said, I liked his book, even if I didn't love it. You are much too cynical with today's younger authors. Not everyone can write "Old Man and the Sea" which does more in 100 pages than many do in 1000. Eggers taps into the post-post-modern style that some call lazy and unreadable, but others like because you get a sense of the author beyond his prose, and it's often amusing, if not on-message. I agree it's not "real" literature, but I find it is validated by its earnestness, and its lack of pretension. The fact that it supports/cultures the generational appeal to 12-second soundbytes and 5-second camera cuts may be unfortunate, but it's like ignoring the elephant on the couch to wholly denounce it. His latest book, which I shan't plug, but which can be found on McSweeneys, is a novel, and less gimmicky.