Category: Maso, Carol

essay canon bonus B — “Rupture, Verge, and Precipice, Precipice, Verge, and Hurt Not” by Carole Maso

The Puppetmaster by Hao Hsiao-hsien, found here
The Puppetmaster by Hao Hsiao-hsien, found here

[CN: Sexism, assault]

It seemed to be everywhere in the texts from the 90s. Endless think pieces and interview snippets from the literati as it contemplated its impending demise. The meanie bo-beanie feminists and theorists taking over the University, vandalizing Harold Bloom’s precious *~Western Canon~* and pasting “check your privilege” signs on the walls. Jonathan Franzen is perhaps the most shameless of these voices, persisting into the new millennium (with a great counterblast by Ben Marcus). But even David Foster Wallace, in a really enjoyable review essay on Dostoyevsky and Joseph Frank’s biography, cant help but throw in a bit of culture war curmudgeonry at the end.

Woe is them; the novel and the printed word are dead; the kids these days don’t read literary fiction anymore; the image dominates society; theory and PoMo weirdness have fucked up the American novel beyond redemption, draining it of the human subject these cishet d00ds were so used to seeing reflected back at them; we’re looking at the post-literate generation; yadda yadda yadda. (And i write this as someone who reads DWG [dead white guy] literature all the time and with relish. And im saying the DWG canon is what it is.)

There’s a lot i could say in response to this, but why bother when the last word was so perfectly stated in a 2000 experimental essay by Carole Maso?

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