as readers may be aware, boynton doesn't care much for the snark - like others she still harbours fonder asscociations of the word. This is an interesting read on the mindset/genre/culture within literary circles. (via fimoculous)
The comments thread provides lively discussion with these from Robert Birnbaum:
We may have entered the era of meta-snark. Saying somebody is full of shit is not snarky. Or claiming that they have heard "an author's last four or five books are not very good." —that is hearsay or as we say in the real world, gossip
I am against the rising tide of snide. Just as I accept the distinction between cynicism and skepticism, I deny the synonimity of clever and snide. Snide is ill spirited and negative. One does not learn anything from it. And learning something, I think, is at the heart of our intentions
If this is indeed officially the era of snark, or as Birnbaum calls it : the cultural moment that invites and on some level glorifies this know-nothingism, boynton will head for the heritage hills and jealously guard her irony. The link to the Heidi Julavintis Believer article is worth following -where the infiltration of snark is seen to have emerged in part as a reaction to false hyperbole - This is wit for wit's sake—or, hostility for hostility's sake. This hostile, knowing, bitter tone of contempt".
boynton shares some of Julavintis misgivings about the spirit of snark, and the desert of meaning that sometimes seems to be at the heart of it.
See also: see Hunting Snark: Heidi Julavits Stomps a Virus
Posted by Gianna at August 31, 2003 05:51 PM
Posted by boynton at August 31, 2003 06:13 PM