July 25, 2004

Read: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering GeniusI have to rate A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius as only moderately tasty. Some parts were great...others made me cringe. Eggers is unflinchingly honest, except, of course, when he admits he's just making it up. Writing this book must have been both agonizing and cathartic.

I liked his approach to the issue of a writer's privacy (or lack of it, as some have seen it.) Blogger-critics are most incensed by intimate, private blogs. Most are dross. But when they're good, they draw us in like moths to flame. And as Eggers says:
...but after all that, what, in the end, have I given you? It seems like you know something, but you still know nothing. I tell you and it evaporates. I don't care—how could I care?
We feel that to reveal embarrassing or private things ... we have given someone something...that revealing our habits or losses or deeds somehow makes one less of oneself. But it's just the opposite, more is more is more—more bleeding, more giving.
Reminds me of a Sting song, "Nothing 'Bout Me."

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