Neal Pollack hasn't imploded. He's exploded into nothingness like a firecracker, leaving only small paper shreds of debris.
Neal spends an entire essay in the 6/19 NY Times Book Review putting himself down, explaining how there was never anything to himself but a desire for money. The much-hyped success of his first McSweeney's-produced book turns out to have been a myth (the book where Eggers was going to give over a third of the book's cover price to the author). Pollack now says that all his books sold 25,000 copies COMBINED. (Including the conglomerate one.) Pollack now writes off the last five years of his lit-career (which if nothing else provided some necessary entertainment, a few laughs, to a moribund industry) as a mere scam.
Now Neal wants to go "legit." His goal is to be like Zadie Smith, a writer of serious purpose-- which Pollack defines as getting a fellowship at Harvard. Neal Pollack may have been a total fake-- but his newest incarnation, a desperate bid to become a sinecured never-heard-from-again Harvard don, is worse.
The key sentence to Pollack's article is this: "Ultimately, the train of manufactured rebellion lost its funding. . . ." The point of the article and that line is that a literary movement can't be built on fakery.
Some wonder why I continue to attack the McSweeney's gang on occasion. The answer is not only that they still have influence, at least on the east coast (maybe especially in Philly), but that they have been portrayed by the media and by a horde of demi-puppet suck-ups like Maud Newton & Company as the next big thing in literature. Dave Eggers, from the first, borrowing motifs from the zine scene, presented himself and his writers as true independents-- when all along he was just buying into the conglomerate monopolies; in fact, had been their bought-and-paid-for boy from the very beginning of McSweeney's. People have been hungry for a renewal of literature. By putting ourselves, and the deep authenticity of our writers, in relief against the manufactured fakes, the Underground Literary Alliance can best meet the needs of hungry readers everyplace.