Now I feel vaguely guilty for having reflexively talked shit about Alice Munro.
I thought all mainstream litratchur in America had become a sort of smart accessory, regardless of where it was spawned? I seem to have read some oh-so-moving passages in some books set in the Midwest where characters felt comfy in their sweaters while driving their pristine SUVs to go pick up the kids and watching the sunlight prism through the raindrops on the windshield while reflecting on the fact that, after all, life isn't so bad here in the suburbs of Buttfuck. A nice $20 trade paperback about an ordinary person's struggle to overcome something is the kind of accessory that goes well with a hip pair of smarty clunky-framed eyeglasses in any part of the country. The extra dense fog of irony hanging over Brooklyn probably does arise from self-loathing, I suppose; but, hell, at least in Brooklyn they have the decency to loathe themselves. Do you think Alice Munro is self-aware enough to do that?
Sorry to recklessly misrepresent--I meant that you describe the genre _in part_ by how it's marketed--e.g., "variations of the prim-yet-sexy author photo, the artfully artless cover," yadda ya. I didn't mean to imply that you were saying that the actual writing had nothing to do with it.
Very insightful that you define the literary genre by the marketing tools used to sell it--a marketing genre perhaps?--marketing, the great art form of our time. . . .
Also a spot-on comment about how being a practicing Christian is the ultimate rebellion--I remembering feeling similarly as a boy in my Southern Baptist church--I would think, "If I really want to just chuck the world, I'll actually get myself dunked and go in for this craziness"--could never quite do it though--at heart I'm too much of a square. . . .
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