Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh, Oh, Love Stories Of Nemeses?

Thought I'd go ahead and scribe a quick blogpost. Thought I'd scribe it without being entirely sure of what the word "scribe" means. I know that a scribe was typically a writer of things. What sorts of things? No one knows! it's lost to history. It's lost to the sands of time.

So we move on, wondering.

The Nervous Breakdown had a pretty interesting article up the other day. It was about Joshua Ferris, more or less. It was about a writer of lesser notoriety dealing with the fact that Joshua Ferris, "Josh," had gone on to some significant authorial acclaim. That's the most superficial rundown I can think of for expressing the substance of the article, entitled "Et tu, Nemesis?". Seriously, follow the link I've provided, because I believe it's a lot more than just that, those paltry words I've used to sum it up.

I think what's most interesting about the article is the way in which its author, Abby Mims, gets to the heart of the that you cannot be a hero in your own home, because everybody knows you. They know that you leave the seat up after (or -- worse -- down during) your using the toilet (this is a very male-centric portion of the analogy, an analogy to avoid all possible confusion, is describing micturition). Joshua Ferris, acclaimed National Book Award Nominee and The New Yorker Top Twenty Under Forty recipient, did not get along with all of his peers in his college MFA program at UC-Irvine.

My initial opinion of Ferris' writing was very enthusiastic. "Then We Came To The End" is a very good, maybe great, novel. I've been less impressed by his short stories since that impressive debut. All of this is to say, I have mixed feelings about him as a writer. And truthfully I don't want this post to become all about one writer's quasi-antagonistic relationship with a now famous author. I think it's more useful as a study of human nature, and how humans operate in the occluded space of a graduate creative writing program (in part because I still entertain some small desire to enroll in one, at some intangible point).

Take a look at the article. I'm curious to hear thoughts. It's certainly a piece that inspires a lot of strongly felt reactions.

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