Gordon Lish is responsible for being a major influence on some of the worst writing in American literary history.
For instance, the anthologized story by the famous trendy author which begins something like this:
"I'm a dog, yes a dog, dog dog dog, a fast dog, like to go fast, fast fast fast dog, like to run run run fast fast fast, a dog, I am, yes a dog. . . ."
This kind of gibberish is one step beneath Dr. Seuss.
Gordon Lish, along with David Foster Wallace, were chief influences on an entire lit movement, the dreaded McSweeneyites.
The 1980's was one of the worst decades for American literature EVER. You had the George Plimpton-created brat pack of Jay McInerney and Tama Janowitz; assorted minimally-talented "minimalists" like Peter Cameron and Ann Beattie, and worst of all, the cutesy kindergarten level posing of Gordon Lish's journal, Quarterly. That he helped discover Amy Hempel is reason alone to put him in American Lit's "Hall of Infamy," alongside Phillip Lopate and Jason Shinder.
As bad as the Eighties decade was for established literature, however, things have only gotten worse. The retreat into thumb-sucking narcissism, as represented in journals like the afore referred-to McSweeney's, would now shock even a five year-old.