American writers are pathologically individualistic. They can't envision a writer operating or even existing outside the glowing bubble of ego. Writing has become a celebration of the narcissistic self.
Before historical change occurs, the vast majority of people can't imagine that change. Afterward it seems obvious. "Why didn't others think of that?" we ask ourselves. They didn't because their thinking patterns had ossified, their intellectual arteries hardened at age 25, no new thoughts circulating within them.
A few System writers of today at least try to think-- Tom Bissell or Daniel Green-- their attacks on the ULA demonstrating that they've been provoked into thinking; their few still-operating brain cells stimulated, prodding them to justify (however feebly) their beliefs.
Other puppets and demi-puppets have lost even this ability. They have the curiosity of cattle. They're merely members of the Herd-- trend followers who'll follow a trend even if it takes literature off a cliff. The most bovinely uncritical of them are Eggers acolytes. They can't credibly articulate why his writing is great; they just have this vague important feeling inside themselves that it is.
The famous killed ATLANTIC profile of Dave Eggers by Keith Gessen-- largely a puff piece-- expresses this. Eggers was important because he spoke to Gessen's class and generation; because he was of his generation:
"His biography, too, was representative. He was in San Francisco when the dot-coms emerged, he tried out for MTV's "The Real World," he wrote lyrically of playing frisbee. To see the picture of Eggers that appeared in VANITY FAIR, in a room cluttered with books and pilfered U.S. Postal Service bins, at an aged computer outfitted (we knew) with desktop publishing software, his hand up in a bemused wave-type gesture to the national audience suddenly focused on him through the camera lens, was to see the historical spirit of the past decade incarnated-- this was what Hegel felt when he saw Napoleon on horseback."
The Eggers fan has the kind of unthinking unblinking adulation you would've found at a 1937 Nuremburg rally.