[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?