Choire Sicha believes that men can’t write any more—or rather, that the latest batch of post-McSweeney’s young novelists need a pair of stones. How romanticizing the mid-’80s supports this thesis is beyond me (maybe it’s because Jay McInerney‘s Ransom had samurai swords or something?), but here you go:
The American desire for fucking has become, locally, the Brooklyn-based or -bound desire for a book deal and a brownstone. Men, finding that they cannot really get status or security from the ownership of women very often, find their very selves disparaged. Like most of us, they get their status first from consumption, and the way out is to become a maker of consumables; a high-class published author. And they are bewildered, I think, because their bewilderment shows in books that try to understand class and economic conditions even as they are being happily further ensnared by them. Their books read as if this were the first time they’d ever thought of all this.
Read it if you dare. Sicha’s argument is so stuffed with overstatement that it practically repels thought. (If there’s something to be said about the connection between getting laid and greater class understanding, an editor at the Observer might’ve compelled Sicha to articulate it.) But one thing: If you’re going to make assertions about the value, strength, and importance of women writers, maybe spell Marilynne Robinson‘s name right?