Friday, November 16, 2012

Authoritarian Literary Person

Here's a link to the infamous Dave Eggers 2000 Harvard Advocate interview.

Lest you think this was an isolated incident, in the next several years after this Dave Eggers acted vigorously to shut down all criticism of himself and his organization.

It's fairly unprecedented in any field, in U.S. business history, for an entrepreneur to come out so strongly to shut down all possible un-nice things said about him. Colonel Parker? Phil Spector? For them, the press was a given. You accepted the slings and arrows coming your way as part of the game.

The tragedy is that the unthinking literary crowd has gone along with Dictator Dave's way of doing things. (One must wonder what he's like inside the organization. But then, that's not anything we ever hear about, is it? Not something anyone would dare investigate.)

The Dave's rant makes rough sense from his own perspective. But it's a completely egoistic perspective. He should be immune from all criticism and competition merely because his intentions are good. He does many wonderful things for the world. He's wonderful, period. How dare anyone say anything bad about him, anyplace?

This led Eggers to overreact against his critics-- critics which included the Underground Literary Alliance-- but now all critics are gone. Mum's the word. Smooth sailing only in happy face McSweeney's World.

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