Almost Unbelievably More Eggers

Finished Heartbreaking Work… by Eggers today. Pretty disappointing, although I’ve never been a fan of stream-of-consciousness writing, at least by strangers. I’m also not a big fan of self-importance, of which Eggers does not lack, apparent from the book, yet alone his press clippings.

Still, there are three short sections worth sharing. The first relates to the last one I shared here, as it relates, again, to our visit to Florida over the holidays:

The idea, I suppose, is the emotional equivalent of a drug binge, the tossing together of as much disparate and presumably incompatible stimuli as possible, in a short span, five days, together constituting a sort of socio-familial archaeological bender, to see what comes of it, how much can be dredged up, brought back, remembered, exploited, excused, pitied, made known, made permanent.

The second bit is in relation to his first magazine, Might. I liked it because it touches on how we (collective) can never enjoy, in the end, what we’ve dreamed about all along, and how selling something, the asking for money, sucks, because it subverts the dream:

…we would talk, explaining our plans, vaguely conveying our hopes, doing the best we could to articulate the fact that we wanted to be successful without being seen as successful-successful, wanted to keep doing what we were doing, with the option of opting out if we ever got bored, wanted to conquer the world in a way that no one would be able to tell that that’s what we wanted, trying not to let on how tired we all were, how unsure we were that we really wanted to do any of this anymore…

The last bit, it is obvious, it is so obvious and not really even mentioned well, but is possibly the crux of the work, the kind of ha-ha I’m mocking myself; I’m sharing it so that all of you but the insanely curious can read, say ok, and move on to something a tad less presumptuous…

You know what it is? It’s entertainment. If you back up far enough, it all becomes a sort of show. You grew up with comforts, without danger, and now you have to seek it out, manufacture it, or worse, use the misfortunes of friends and acquaintances to add drama to your own life. But see, you cannot move real people around like this, twist their arms and legs, position them, dress them, make them talk…