Friday, March 28, 2003

Eggers Egged!

I don't keep up with the latest happenings in the literary world, so I'd never heard of this James Frey guy. But I'm going to pay attention now since he had the chutzpah to call out Dave Eggers for the gimmicky hack that he is. Here it is:

Still the promotional foreplay has its downside. Just as Frey's being set up as the next "it" guy in book circles, he's been quoted in the New York Observer for his panning of fellow "it" guy Dave Egger's "Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius."

"[It] pissed me off ... because ["Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,"] a book that I thought was mediocre, was being hailed as the best book written by the best writer of my generation. ... Fuck that," he scoffed. "And fuck him and fuck anybody that says that. I don't give a fuck what they think of me. I'm going to try to write the best book of my generation, and I'm going to try to be the best writer."

Frey characteristically chooses not to give a shit. He's hardly a stranger to controversy.

"It was neither a misquote, nor am I particularly proud of it," he tells me. "The reporter was at my apartment, and he was standing in front of these stacks of books I have, and he was asking me about books. I didn't set out to bash Eggers. My honest view is I could give a shit about Eggers or any other writers."

Hell yeah. Too bad Eggers is going to use this snub as material for a new self-deprecating, self-referential book about the trials of being a self-aware pseudo-writer who is aware that he has no talent but that's what truly makes him a genius.


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