But Thank You For Playing, Canada

Note the huge differences in first paragraphs too!

2010: Fuck Books

Fuck books!

How vulgar that short sentence looks, how brutal in its Germanic bluntness when juxtaposed with the ornate, mythopoetic musings that prompted it. And yet, in their violence and brevity, those two short words capture the commingled frustration and exasperated wonderment that attends to reading passages such as the one above, which are, unfortunately, all too common among what gets lauded as the finest of this country’s literature.

2001: A Reader’s Manifesto

Nothing gives me the feeling of having been born several decades too late quite like the modern “literary” best seller. Give me a time-tested masterpiece or what critics patronizingly call a fun read—Sister Carrie or just plain Carrie. Give me anything, in fact, as long as it doesn’t have a recent prize jury’s seal of approval on the front and a clutch of precious raves on the back. In the bookstore I’ll sometimes sample what all the fuss is about, but one glance at the affected prose—”furious dabs of tulips stuttering,” say, or “in the dark before the day yet was”—and I’m hightailing it to the friendly black spines of the Penguin Classics.



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