Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Sense and Gen X Sensibility

I've been wondering about literary tastes. After having expressed a good deal of disappointment over a recent issue of Glimmer Train and then raving about several issues of Gargoyle, I am curious what other trends I might come up with as I continue to try to read my way through some popular lit mags.

One thing that occurred to me is that Gargoyle might have a certain Gen X sensibility (regardless of how anyone feels about that term, I've embraced it as being the tagline of my generation).

I guess one thing I noticed about Gargoyle was that most of the stories therein not only defied canons but had a good dose of some wicked humor as well as true cleverness. I think that my generation (and most certainly people who were ever involved in alternative scenes) has a grand ability to laugh at things that, well, you just have to laugh about or you'll cry. Maybe this is wild abandon, I don't know.

Then, there's the school of thought that I sensed in most of the stories in Glimmer Train, that didn't really speak to me. Something a little bit detached, and yet confessional. Things that were descriptive (often of very common problems), but didn't really leave me with any feeling whatsoever. The talent is there but it felt in half of them, there was something quite lacking, perhaps (and what was lacking was not a sense of meandering, many of them did quite a bit of that). A lot of it I just simply couldn't relate to, and I think that's what is so important about literature. A way to figure out and relate to the world we live in. And where was the sharp, clever humor? A lot of it took itself way too seriously, and I think that was a stumbling block as well. How much can a reader enjoy a story that has a droning subtext: I AM A CARD-CARRYING WRITER! I WRITE WHAT I AM SUPPOSED TO WRITE!

Anyway, it's a thought. A rather undeveloped one, at that, but I thought I'd put it out there.

Thanks for reading,

LLB

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