Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

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Don Napoli

Lethem's fulminations against the realists sound like Rush Limbaugh's tirades against the Democrats. As far as I can tell, the anti-realists have been in control of the American literary establishment for at least a generation.

Dan Green

Don: You're wrong, For most of the eighties and nineties the predominant strain in American literary fiction was minimalism/neorealism. I'm not sure what name could be given to the currently dominant form of American fiction, but it surely wouldn't be experimental or anti-realist--although a certain kind of surrealism (Aimee Bender, George Saunders) has become more prominent recently.


Uh, I don't get it: what is Lethem on about? "Realism" vs. "anti-realism" or the very concept of "realism" itself? Both? The supposed exaltation of "realism" above "anti-realism"? And what is this class bias bit? I grew up poor working class, am still poor working class, will most likely die poor working class, and I prefer "realism" to "anti-realism" any day of the week. I hope Lethem isn't trying to deign to the proletariat because he sounds more like a politician than a writer. This just smells like more art vs. entertainment, red state vs. blue state, etc. bullshit to me. Just out of curiosity, what class does Lethem belong to?

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