Ferdinand correctly skewers the American literary establishment. And by skewers, I mean “prison rapes”:
The New York Trilogy is a encapsulation of everything I hate about modern literature. It’s turgid, condescending, obtuse, and pointless. But the sad thing is that Luc Sante got it right in his intro — Paul Auster is the poet laureate of New York City, though not for the reasons he thinks. The New York Trilogy is the perfect book for the New York of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, a stultifying police state run by over-educated SWPLs who think All Things Considered is really deep and get the vapors whenever anyone says anything vaguely controversial. It’s perfect for the New York of the hipsters, pencil-necked dweebs from Seattle or Milwaukee thinking they’re going to be the next Thurston Moore or Lydia Lunch while they snack on artisan bread courtesy of their trust funds. It’s perfect for a New York defanged, declawed and stripped of everything that made it interesting and unique, made safe for underemployed Midwestern brats and bored Australian tourists. The New York everyone romanticizes— the New York of danger, intrigue and passion — is dead and buried.
And this neutered New York has produced a literati that spends all day sniffing its own farts. Jonathan Safran Foer, Colson Whitehead, Nicole Krauss, Gary Shteyngart, Jhumpa Lahiri, David Foster Wallace (actually wait, he’s dead — I’ve never derived so much joy from a suicide in my life), and all the rest: worthless hacks devoid of curiosity, humanity or talent. There’s more merit in a single Roosh Tweet than in the entire American literary establishment.
As Camille Paglia anticipated, the removal of religion from art has all but destroyed it. Although this is more visible in the visual arts, such as painting and sculpture, the disease of secularism has absolutely ravaged literature. Even the viciously anti-religious artist at least had something against which to posture. The philosophers may have foreseen the ghastly, soulless consequences of secular meaninglessness, but it has taken the artists to truly drive the ugly point home.
Seriously, who actually reads this tedious navel-gazing shit anymore? I don’t think even those who pretend to like it do.