AS the writer Tao Lin is the latest lit-world darling to self-destruct, I thought I’d post a few quotes of his, for perspective:
"--sometimes my goal is to gain as much power in the lit world as possible, sometimes my goal is to focus on real human beings that i can touch in reality as much as possible, sometimes my goal is to try to be as truthful as possible in the world, sometimes my goal is to try to reduce pain and suffering as much as possible in the world, sometimes my goal is to be as selfish as possible and get as much pleasure as possible for myself, sometimes my goal is to try to not care about identity and to destroy my own, etc., about a thousand more goals and all these goals have probably occurred before within the same hour, if even just 'entertained' for a millisecond—"
This is an expression of the intellectually and morally bankrupt postmodernist philosophy which underpins Tao Lin and his work. As is this:
"I live in the universe
therefore I have no answers, I have no rules, and I don't know anything."
"It should be obvious to everyone that no one knows what to do, no one is right, nothing is right or wrong . . . it is impossible for me to know any of these things. . . ."
I gave these quotes and their source in a discussion I engaged in about Tao Lin and his philosophy in 2011, in the comments section of HTML Giant, of all places—the spawning ground of “Alt Lit” and its nonsensical ideas. HTML Giant says it’s shutting down in a few weeks, incidentally. I suppose rocked by too many scandals. I’ll be posting more of that discussion here in coming days, because it’s, er, enlightening.