Skip

Metafilter wrote on your Wall.
August 6, 2008 9:36 AM   Subscribe


 
I should not have liked it that much. But I did.
posted by indiebass at 9:49 AM on August 6, 2008


Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don't Float.

Heh.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:50 AM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


*chuckles lightly*

That was pleasantly funny. Thanks.
posted by youarenothere at 9:53 AM on August 6, 2008


That was cute.

I also enjoyed the Corrections to Last Month's Letters to Penthouse Forum.
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:54 AM on August 6, 2008


Speaking of McSweeney's: McSweeney's Rejects Mike Mussina's Seventh Consecutive Submission. HA!
posted by NoMich at 9:55 AM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.

Sarah Schmelling's 10th grade English teacher didn't fully explain the the two meanings of "nunnery."

I did laugh at "Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind." Good stuff.
posted by giraffe at 10:13 AM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Polonius is no longer online. Heh!
posted by jonp72 at 10:13 AM on August 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sarah Schmelling's 10th grade English teacher didn't fully explain the the two meanings of "nunnery."

If she'd written "Hamlet thinks Ophelia should work in a whorehouse," lots of people wouldn't have understood the reference.
posted by cerebus19 at 10:18 AM on August 6, 2008


I also enjoyed the Corrections to Last Month's Letters to Penthouse Forum.

You, me and just about every other person here I reckon!

(But we really* read it for the featurette about Hamlet!)

*true, it was very cute!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:46 AM on August 6, 2008


Am I the only one who thinks Dave Eggers is a gen-X Garrison Keillor knockoff? And McSweeney's is his twee A Prairie Home Companion?
posted by felix betachat at 10:48 AM on August 6, 2008 [7 favorites]


Facebook feeds don't work like that. Humbug.
posted by Hollow at 11:02 AM on August 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks Dave Eggers is a gen-X Garrison Keillor knockoff? And McSweeney's is his twee A Prairie Home Companion?

Nope. But I still haven't heard an argument, despite their frequency, supporting the accusations and dismissals.
posted by xod at 11:02 AM on August 6, 2008


Am I the only one who thinks Dave Eggers is one of the great writers of our time and the knee-jerk hipster dismissals tend to come from people who care a lot more about sounding cool than actually, you know, reading his books or anything?

that's not to say McSweeney's is all good stuff, the paper magazine in particular publishes a lot of those cookie-cutter MFA stories, but they are not written by Dave Eggers.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:11 AM on August 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I like it!
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:22 AM on August 6, 2008


Am I the only one who thinks Dave Eggers is one of the great writers of our time

God I hope so.

Also, hipster as the new, all-purpose MeFi insult is pretty lame.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:28 AM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't forget "twee!"
posted by grobstein at 12:01 PM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who thinks the new Facebook UI is awful and potentially disastrous?
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:13 PM on August 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I found McSweeney's to be very hit or miss. I used to think it was 'hit,' and then I read 'The Children's Hospital.' Most of it, at least. Turned me off most of the McSweeney's experience.
posted by cobaltnine at 12:16 PM on August 6, 2008


drjimmy- yeah, I hear more criticisms of his work on the grounds that "he sucks because I say so and because he's the hip thing to read." Well, yeah, because he's a good writer, people read him. That is how it works. I honestly doubt there is the level of scenesterism in literature as there is in music.

Oh man, I made this girl I like this really awesome anthology of late 19th century german philosophers, and to spice it up a bit, I snuck in a few chapters from Franz Boas's Mind of the Primitive Man.

Also, Eggers uses his popularity to push for after school tutoring and literature programs for children.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:27 PM on August 6, 2008


God Bless 826! What a lovely idea!
(wears pirate shirt with pride)
posted by cavalier at 1:09 PM on August 6, 2008


Also, Eggers uses his popularity to push for after school tutoring and literature programs for children.

That's not philanthropy. It's job security.

Also, anyone who thinks that Dave Eggers is "One of the Great Writers of Our Time" needs to get out more. I'll bet Jonathan Safran Foer makes you cry and laugh at the same time too. And you love yourself for doing it.

These are pale shadows of the real thing, pal. They're generational panderers who've cribbed a few codes from real authors and have learned to reproduce them for an audience of lazy narcissists. The notion of the aesthetic encounter as a confrontation with the new is not to be found here. Read some Cormac McCarthy. Some Ian McEwan. Some Murakami. Some Roth. These are authors who have something to say to you, the reading of whom will show you things about your world you cannot, or will not see on your own.

There's nothing wrong with Eggers, just like there's nothing wrong with candy. But too much of it will rot your teeth. And if you begin to mistake it for real food, you're in for a hell of a stomachache.
posted by felix betachat at 1:14 PM on August 6, 2008 [7 favorites]


(These do-gooders are everywhere).
posted by abulafa at 1:14 PM on August 6, 2008


Some Ian McEwan. These are authors who have something to say to you, the reading of whom will show you things about your world you cannot, or will not see on your own.

I never heard of Ian McEwan changing the lives of thousands of at-risk children.

Put down the pen, and go outside and change the world. How's that for an author with a statement?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:49 PM on August 6, 2008


I miss the "is" in Facebook statuses.
posted by smackfu at 1:58 PM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I never heard of Ian McEwan changing the lives of thousands of at-risk children.

Put down the pen, and go outside and change the world. How's that for an author with a statement?


By that logic Bono is the greatest songwriter in history ( and Bill Gates the bestest programmer ever!!!)
posted by eyeballkid at 2:04 PM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some people read McCarthy and Murakami and Roth and Eggers and Rushdie and yes D. F. Wallace and the ever-hated S. King and Calvino and Eco and Updike and sometimes even People magazine and Ecclesiastes all in the same day and also manage not to get in sissy slap-fights on the internet about whether or not the 973rd most widely-read writer in the U.S. is more or less twee or noteworthy or hipster than the 976th most widely-read writer in the U.S., then drawing some ridiculous conclusions about readers of those writers and posting them on MetaFilter so we can figure out who is the "best" or "most advanced" reader as if spending a few hours reading Eggers or Uncle John's Bathroom Reader or the back of a box of Cocoa Crisp is, like, morally worse than not reading at all or taking a shit or watching baseball or posting on MetaFilter
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:34 PM on August 6, 2008 [25 favorites]


Put down the pen, and go outside and change the world. How's that for an author with a statement?

Yeah, that's nice of him and all, but because the author is a good fellow is not the reason I and a lot of other people read books.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:48 PM on August 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Optimus Chyme, you misrepresent me. As I say above, I see nothing inherently wrong with reading Eggers. A literary omnivore is an unqualified good. The problem is, and I'm not being snooty about this, honestly, that plenty of lazy people feel like Dave Eggers speaks to their heart and is, therefore, "The Greatest Author of Our Time." He's a mildly entertaining, generationally-specific diversion. Nothing more. It's not elitist to point out that the crown doesn't fit. Indeed, a nice discussion about the shape of the crown would be a good thing to have. Far better than this poorly written run-on sentence of yours, frankly.
posted by felix betachat at 2:49 PM on August 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: generational panderers who've cribbed a few codes from real authors and have learned to reproduce them for an audience of lazy narcissists
posted by kaspen at 3:54 PM on August 6, 2008


you made my brain hurty
posted by waraw at 4:27 PM on August 6, 2008


Felix- not to say that I disagree with you (because on a base level, I think you're spot-on) but cool out, dude.
Just because someone only reads Tom Clancy and Michael Crighton and Dan Brown or only reads Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss does NOT mean that they need to be or should be the subject of vitriol that intense; even though there are much better writers out there.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 4:34 PM on August 6, 2008


I met Dave Eggers once and he told me he doesn't like hummus because it smells funny. For that, he is dead to me.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:38 PM on August 6, 2008


Am I the only one who thinks Dave Eggers is a gen-X Garrison Keillor knockoff? And McSweeney's is his twee A Prairie Home Companion?


You know Prairie Home Companion is a radio show, right? I don't think I've ever heard Egger's voice...

I think a better comparison to Eggers is Plimpton. I've enjoyed his writing, but he really excels as an editor.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:03 PM on August 6, 2008


Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.

Sarah Schmelling's 10th grade English teacher didn't fully explain the the two meanings of "nunnery."


Hmm, while I know it can mean both, it always seemed clear he did mean a convent. The bit about not breeding sinners, for example. The whole bit seemed to be far more about removing her from the whole exercise of sex and romance, the brothel connotation just doesn't fit the text. Googling it seems to reinforce my belief that while it could have meant either, Shakespeare did indeed mean a nunnery in the sense we now think of it.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:06 PM on August 6, 2008


I think a better comparison to Eggers is Plimpton. I've enjoyed his writing, but he really excels as an editor.

Yeah, I like Egger's writing okay, usually I get pretty tired of it and wonder what the big deal is, but I very much appreciate his approach to other things (nonprofits, editing, etc.). And the obvious care and concern he has for books as physical objets d'art makes me very happy.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:22 PM on August 6, 2008


Just because someone only reads Tom Clancy and Michael Crighton and Dan Brown or only reads Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss does NOT mean that they need to be or should be the subject of vitriol that intense

Did I come off as vitriolic? Sorry, that wasn't my intent. I get a little irritated with the way that new, young authors get puffed up, promoted and smashed into the voice-of-a-generation mold. I get all excited by the press, devour the book, enjoy it for a couple days, and then realize that it's not all that rich. It makes me feel like I've been had. Actually, it's the reason why I'm holding off on reading Keith Gessen's book All the Sad Young Literary Men, because the reviews I've read have had that same breathless quality to them. Best to let the dust settle this time and to read it in a quieter moment.

My point is, I guess, that I'm arguing with myself & not just the Eggers fanatics here. I think the best thing you can do if you love an author is to knock him around a little bit. The good ones take their bruises and come out looking stronger for it.

Apologies all around if anyone thought I was being a dick.
posted by felix betachat at 5:25 PM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Other Hamlet-based LOLs: If Henny Youngman had portrayed Hamlet
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:49 PM on August 6, 2008


The Onion is reliably funny. Thanks for that one, NoMich. The Facebook thing was meh.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:59 PM on August 6, 2008


Wow. Does anybody read books for the sake of enjoying them anymore? It's like half the people in here are more concerned about publically defining themselves by the authors they read and being able to name-drop them on the internet than actually about.. you know.. reading.
posted by tehloki at 2:17 AM on August 7, 2008


Like, I haven't even heard of McCarthy or Murakami or Roth or Eggers or any of the authors being discussed above, but I totally agree with Optimus Chyme's sentiment. Also I totally fucking love reading. I go through about 2 books a week. However, I'm too afraid of getting on the wrong side of the seemingly ongoing conflict the pretentious literary folk everywhere on the internet start up everywhere they go to even name the authors.
posted by tehloki at 2:21 AM on August 7, 2008


tehloki: However, I'm too afraid of getting on the wrong side of the seemingly ongoing conflict the pretentious literary folk everywhere on the internet start up everywhere they go to even name the authors.

Yeah, but now people will just figure you read, like, Harlequin Romances or the National Enquirer or something...and probably not in the ironic, hipster way either.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:41 AM on August 7, 2008


I thought that Dave Eggers' memoir "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" was pretty okay. And every time I think of this, I get a silly little smile. If the book had been better, it would have lost something.

Like this Hamlet thing. Not earth-shattering. But thought-provoking.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 1:45 PM on August 7, 2008


Bernstein's Law: Nobody has actually read both "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" and "What is the What."
posted by shii at 4:44 PM on August 7, 2008


shii, never heard of it
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 4:58 PM on August 7, 2008


Bernstein's Law: Nobody has actually read both "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" and "What is the What."

I have! Or does this mean I don't exist? If I don't exist, then who am I?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:36 PM on August 7, 2008


I thought the original McSweeney's article was funny.

But somehow the mockup of it as an actual facebook format is ten times funnier.

as for the week-old debate, I like Heartbreaking Work
posted by bibliowench at 6:57 AM on August 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is it okay if I like McSweeney's but didn't care for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius? Or is that cognitively dissonant?
posted by grouse at 10:40 PM on August 18, 2008


grouse, cognitive dissonance is awful good.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:29 PM on August 19, 2008


« Older Fleming, Ian Fleming...   |   From Shock and Awe to Culture Shock Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post