Fiction: The Dating Game Part Two

Pop Lit Fiction

THE SECOND story in our look at today’s dating scene is a much darker animal: “Cat Doctor” by D.C. Miller. Ostensibly a response to The New Yorker‘s recent Kristen Roupenian story “Cat Person,” it’s more than that– it’s a look at the malaise of the West’s current intellectual class. People who believe in nothing– not even themselves. Whose ideological inanities, post-conceptual art and postmodern literature are an expression of nothing. Representations of the void at the center of their lives. A world in which the villains aren’t men or women, but everyone.

Appropriately, the story is set in Berlin, a city forever on the cutting edge of the end of Western civilization. Last stop before the nightmare of gotterdammerung and oblivion.

It was a catchy statement, and she liked it, but she wasnt certain where to take it, whether it was true or not, and even if it was, what it would imply. She heard the sound of someone sighing audibly, like an echo from another room, and for a moment felt confused, before she realized it was her.

edvard-munch-sjalusi-i-badet-(jealousy-in-the-bath)

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IN THE FACE of such a pessimistic, albeit truthful, examination of relations between men and women, of ideas and culture, we remain optimists. We believe the culture will turn over because it has to turn over– it’s at a dead end, with nowhere to go but to scrap the present and embrace another direction.
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(Featured painting: “The Night” by Max Beckmann. Other: “Sjalusi i Badet” by Edvard Munch.)

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LECLAIR ON FRANZEN

Interview

The topic of conversation this week in the established literary world is the publication of Jonathan Franzen’s latest big novel, Purity— one of those sporadic books meant to justify the existence of said literary world. No American novelist over the past fifteen years has received the same level of critical attention combined with media hype.

Is the hype justified?

To answer that question, NEW POP LIT’s Karl Wenclas questions the esteemed author and book reviewer Tom LeClair, who reviewed Franzen’s novel last week at The Daily Beast. Now LeClair amplifies his thoughts; holding nothing back as he examines Franzen, other reviewers, and the current state of American literature and publishing. Read our exclusive interview with him now!

–the critics who go along with Time’s assertion that Franzen is a “Great American Novelist” will be found out and mocked. . . .