Saturday, March 4, 2017

Quote of the Day: The schmuck fallacy

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A spectre is haunting contemporary American literature -- the spectre of self-pitying men. Failed or failing writers, functionally or dysfunctionally alcoholic, these characters  -- or alter egos -- and increasingly multisyllabic in their anxious diagnoses of their own fraudulence. Call this the schmuck fallacy: that failure in life is directly proportional to success in literature. If schmucks tend to dwell on their own impotence with something like relish, it may be because their dissolution is their ticket to cheap profundity.
--Harvard philosophy PhD candidate Becca Rothfeld, reviewing Nathan Hill's The Nix, The Times Literary Supplement (January 27, 2017), p 11

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