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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Neo-Sentimentalists

Again, piggy-backing off a post I had a while back that is now sort of, more or less, coming true*, I recently read this great post by Tony Woodlief about contemporary authors being tasked with stripping away all the bullshit of postmodernism and post-postmodernism and getting back to what is real about being a human being on this planet. David Foster Wallace talked about this in his amazing essay "E Unibus Pluram,"** in which he said that the next vanguard of authors will have to battle the circular logic of postmodernism in order to get to something real, or else the future of letters could be at stake. He suspected that the next vanguard of avant gard authors would be what he called Neo-sentimentalists who would be unafraid to be honest and earnest and who would leave irony by the wayside and speak directly and truthfully. That is happening now. The internet is filled with new authors who are not ironic, and if they use irony they use it in order to better facilitate the truth-telling. Whether this movement has legs or not, time will tell. Maybe American Letters have already died too much to be fully revived, or have any major impact on the larger culture. But I'm proud of these new authors, who are unafraid to be honest. Who are unafraid to be talk of love without flinching.

*This was actually an interview with the brilliant neo-sentimentalist, xTx. I think my long-winded "question" in which I lay out my theory about neo-sentimentalism is around question #7. For other neo-sentimentalists see Roxane Gay, Matt Bell, Ethel Rohan, me, Jason Jordan, Alan Stewart Carl, etc.

**Seriously, take the time and read this thing. It's brilliant.