Mark Leidner

ToBS R1: shortshort referring to whiskey consumption vs. asking facebook friends to review yr book on amazon

[Matchup #19 in Tournament of Bookshit]

Whiskey as cultural flashpoint implies a kind of toughness, a kind of rambunctious, possibly-troubled badassness of attitude (due to overuse it’s shifting into a symbol of extended upper-middleclass adolescence aspiring to evoke the above) exactly counteracted by the poncey formal envelope of ‘short-short.’ These two clichés epitomize the literary trinket cranked out by our culture. A frilly package whose contents purport to be “broken,” like Hugh Laurie blues album.

The whiskey person travels to writers’ conferences where people like Denis Johnson and Tim O’Brien tell them to characterize with vivid detail. This is advice they need to hear (since their ‘short-short’ is, other than cultural flashpoint, an orgy of exposition) but will never heed. When they return form the conference, they only talk about who they met, never about what they learned. They mention the drink they had with Denis Johnson, and how cool and normal he seemed, yet also weird in a couple of ways! Then they ask you how your weekend was, and they actually care. READ MORE >

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