The Problem With "Brooklyn Principles" And "Brooklyn Books Of Wonder"

There's a totally insane assault on Brooklyn writers—yes, nearly all of them! Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss and even the Brooklyn writers who actually live in Manhattan, such as Ben Kunkel—in the Autumn issue of the American Scholar. It's notable for the sheer intensity of its hatred.

"Brooklyn principles can be found anywhere that young people gather to share their search for love and meaning, a search that they alone are qualified to pursue by virtue of their pristine vision of the deep oneness of things. Whereas physical danger or emotional grief leaves most people lonely or ruined or dead, they triumph over adversity.... [The resulting books are] kitsch, which Milan Kundera defined as 'the translation of the stupidity of received ideas into the language of beauty and feeling [that] moves us to tears of compassion for ourselves, for the banality of what we think and feel.'"

The one problem with Brooklyn writers that goes unmentioned is that they discard all criticisms. In the land of emotional truth, who can be wrong? So while history may prove this essay on-target, it's a bit like the crazy lady muttering in the food co-op—everyone can hear her but oh my God isn't all that organic home-grown kale just so special and amazing?

Wonder Bread [American Scholar, via]