in response to THIS (from A Commonplace Blog) and THIS (from Mark Athitakis’ American Fiction Notes):
I've been thinking a LOT lately about who will write the literary fiction that typifies this generation.(literary fiction means... WHAT? I know. I know.)
Who will be our Fitzgerald? Will we have one? Who will document and make immortal this youth culture, however transient it may be. Not a fan of Kerouac or Easton Ellis, but they pegged their respective eras well.
I'd like to see the story told of self-important hipsters, micro-fame, of instant, often undeserved celebrity - and told well. If this story is only preserved on blogs or facebook or in youtube videos will it last? What's the future of posterity(!) in the digital age?
What's happening now isn't at all unlike Wilde's late Victorian commentaries on the society he kept and the frivolous pleasantries of its members and their attempts to remain relevant in all the right circles, or Maugham's turn of the century and Depression-Era social scene regulars - or Austen's criticisms on propriety and expectations... Whatever is said about the 00s must be as perceptive as those timeless observations and as carefully handled.
Sure, I've experienced a few page turners that get the MOOD right - even with their small caches of oft repeated descriptive words and phrases, flat characters, and abysmal writing, but those are the types of books that'll be irrelevant by next year (or worse: OUT OF STYLE & UNCOOL!!!!! only to be enjoyed *IRONICALLY*). I like to think I'll have something to do with the stuff that lasts, that is universal.
The Athitakis/Michaels dialogue is a good one - though Michaels seems, in his essay, to have a narrow comprehension of what the AMERICAN SOCIAL SCENE is...