Friday, June 21, 2013

Slavish Imitation at McSweeney’s

One thing I noticed, when I went on the McSweeney’s site, for the first time in a long time, to read their take on the Johnny Depp/Tonto controversy. (See previous post.) It’s that all their writers are doing slavish imitations of Dave Eggers’ own hyper-cute writing style.

Am I the only person who finds that strange?

It’d be as if Ernest Hemingway (ahem: Eggers is no Hemingway) was editing a journal, or a web site, and every single writer in the journal or on the site was required to write in his, Hemingway’s, own peculiar writing style. Now, Ernest Hemingway was something of an egomaniac, but not that big of an egomaniac.

It’s of a piece with the totalitarian nature of the entire McSweeney’s enterprise, which tolerates no criticism or dissent, and adheres to the Orwellian Big Brother principle that everyone in the literary game should never disagree about anything.

Writing style is something that should be individual to the writer. Beyond this, it’s for certain that the trademark Eggers style is not a natural way of writing—yet his writers/worshippers engage in it.

(For more about the strangeness of the McSweeney’s cult, pick up my satirical ebook novel, The McSweeneys Gang, still available at the Kindle Store at Amazon or B&N’s Nook Books.)

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