A FEW YEARS back I was speaking with Teresa Carmody about how much I detest Tao Lin’s writing, citing specifically the fact that, despite claims of sincerity on the part of (who exactly..?), his work seems written in such a way that, responding to any criticism one might level against it, he can adopt, in his frequent policing of all things said about him on the internet, a conveniently opposite view apropos intention.
Specific examples elude me, as I’ve not wasted time reading a hell of a lot of his material.
(For the record, I enjoyed some pieces in his collection BED.)
No doubt my distaste is rooted mostly in what I consider a lack of generosity, as well as my war against all things that come across as glibly numb. Anyways, Teresa told me that Vanessa Place, in reference to the kind of work that maintains a moveable/defensible stance toward whatever one might have to say about it– that she referred to such work as “closed-legs writing”.
I liked that.
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At Powell’s the other day I saw a real life copy of Marie Calloway’s book and it made me want to throw up.
Seriously? Your face-sized face on both the front AND back covers..?
There’s irony, no doubt, in referring to Calloway’s WHAT PURPOSE DID I SERVE IN YOUR LIFE as “closed-legs writing”. But it fits. The book’s full of images that appropriate her detractors’ words. The only statement this seems to make is that it’s somehow impervious, and that, as such, these people should be ashamed they said anything negative at all, even if their words wound up being the most interesting in the book.
That anyone would dare use ‘sincere’ as a qualifier in reference to this trend of expression is beyond retarded.
The New Sociopathy, more likely.
[That TAIPEI = TYPE A is a bit too flattering. — Added 6/30/13]
Still we must give props, I guess, to the avant-marketeering that has developed with and in Lin’s shadow. No doubt this is where his talents as an artist truly lie, and he’s been generous enough to expand his strategies into something that may very well become a legacy. I’d certainly like to see what the Muumuu House whiteboards look like. Bet it’s some straight up Scientology shit.
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It’s a tell-tale thing that the reviews on this site of Lin or Calloway’s new books succeed in saying almost nothing.
But hey. It’s important, sure, to keep up with the Joneses, right?