I think part of the answer is that all of these people come from the underground. Let me explain what I mean by that. There are a couple of writers in every generation who go straight from being hot-shots at their college literary magazine to a staff job at the New Yorker or a book deal with Random House. Updike did this. Jonathan Safran Foer, in my generation, did it. Everyone else—and I really mean everyone else—has to go out into a world that doesn’t give a shit. That is to say they enter bohemia—the underground. I’ll give a definition: The underground includes all young people, because they are powerless, and a few older people who’ve decided to stay in it and keep the flame alive. But the key point is that—again, with some exceptions—all writers pass through it, and it’s vital in keeping their spirits up while they struggle for more mainstream recognition.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Notes from the....
The relationship between writers and the "underground." I am reading Mr. Gessen's All The Sad Young Literary Men as we speak. (Keith Gessen)