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I think Justin Taylor is smart enough to be aware of the naivete, and I would also agree that THE GOSPEL OF ANARCHY is highly flawed even in its attempt to mimic that state (which is also what I enjoyed in the short story collection). But you do have me wondering whether it is even possible for any author to persuasively use a literary aesthetic to capture a generation. (Who, honestly, has done that?) And this consideration certainly fits in with some of the commercial restraints, whether author-erected or market-driven, that you've railed against in the past. Do you think Justin Taylor is a guy more interested in working the room than building from his talent? That may very well be the problem. When you're more concerned about what people think (either mass culture or a small group of peers) than writing at the best level you can, how can you be original?

"Do you think Justin Taylor is a guy more interested in working the room than building from his talent?"

I don't think I'd say that. I'd just say it seems to me that in this novel he's misapplying his talent in the attempt to be sociologically as well as aesthetically relevant.

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About

  • Daniel Green is a literary critic and sometime fiction writer. His reviews, critical essays, and fiction have appeared in a variety of publications, both online and in print. He has a Ph.D focusing on postwar American fiction and an M.A. in creative writing.