"All the Sad, Young Literary Men has too many men, none of whom is particularly sad, literary or, for that matter, interesting." That's The L Magazine's Jonny Diamond on N+1 editor Keith Gessen's first novel. The interesting bit is how Gawker, you dear commenters, and the scribblers of Magical Brooklynism fit into the equation. "Gessen has rightly and eloquently lamented the impoverishment of intellectual discourse in 21st-century America, particularly in a New York literary scene that prefers whimsy to gravitas, adolescence to adulthood and typography to teleology." (Yeah, Gessen and his privileged band of bores are the answer. Okay, I'll stop.) "And if lit journal-cum-publishing house McSweeney's has come to stand (albeit unfairly so) as shorthand for this particular style of whimsy-sotted, Brooklyn-born preciousness, then online media gossip Gawker has served as its natural enemy, employing snark and irony to interrupt the daydreams of thousands of Michel Gondrys and Miranda Julys." Sounds good. But it isn't!
"But the sad trick of this snark/wonder binary is its shared terror of the serious. The former cannot show weakness for fear of being eaten by its children, the mocking commentariat; the latter, though able to take its own nostalgia seriously, does not want to grow up and deal with grown-up issues, as grown-ups do."
Us poor, poor kids. The fact that we deliver literary opinions as snappy one-liners that insult twee optimistic vegans in a small New York neighborhood on an interactive website is conclusive evidence that the rest of our everyday lives are just as silly.
Also, later is the review, Diamond might be straight-up calling Gessen a douchebag for his belief that he and his friends can save literature-or even write fiction, for that matter-but Diamond screwed up his quotation marks so I can't be sure if he called Gessen a douchebag or if Gessen called himself one. Read the review and let me know.