Does Dave Eggers Rule the World?

I post this diatribe without comment, only to note that it may have merit but I wouldn't know it as I don't regularly read a) rock criticism or b) what new hip established writers have to say. I'm just trying to stir the pot a bit, get a little rough n' tumble going.


Mike said...

I've been reading Nick Hornby's Songbook, which takes a real beating in that City Paper article. I really like it. It's not music criticism so much as "reflections related to music." But it's an enjoyable read.

The "middle-brow populism" that the CP seems so intent to criticize here is something I find refreshing after wading through overwrought Pitchfork-style reviews. It's like certain reviewers need to make pop music more complicated than it is to justify the fact that they -- highbrow people, of course -- dig it.

The review in the City Paper -- not just of music, but of books and movies and plays -- are so annoyingly pretentious I stopped looking at them altogether about 2 years ago.

None of which, of course, has anything to do with Eggers, who's still going to get a dodgeball to the head one of these days.

aaron said...

The author of the City Paper piece seems to be making the case, though it may not be his primary point, that literary writers use the music as a departure point for their ruminations, which are informed by the music but not, strictly speaking, about the music. Whereas a "real" music critic will deal with the music itself. Hopefully.

TMC said...

"Aside from the narcissistic prose, these authors share with Eggers a lack of desire to engage with any culture outside their own alt-pop, college-rock, new-folk, Time-Life-classics orbit."

I liked that sentence. I've tried to hate Dave Eggers, but when I finally gave him a chance, I found his writing to be damn good. But that doesn't mean I can't hate the thousands of Eggers imitators, about 20-30 of whom lurk around Iowa City, annoying me with their groupie mentality, their condescension, and their total lack of anything worth saying.

I guess I'm not really responding to the article either, but I liked that quote I isolated. Too many of the Eggers/Mcsweeney's clique have a bit of an elitist chip on their shoulder, as if their identification with that subculture makes them any more important than any other band of nerds.