Isn’t it odd that an
Such is the case in “
Partway through the review, Gold describes Purdy’s first book:
In “For Common Things,” Mr. Purdy critiques the ironic style of his generation and his country, and finds it unavailing. We hide behind ironic detachment because we know that so little of what we encounter is real, and because we’re also terrified of encountering something that might be. We assemble our individual uniquenesses out of endless prefabricated parts provided by the market and the media, knowing that their variety does not make up for the fact that they’re prefabricated.
We hide behind careers and consumption patterns, never quite making contact beyond ourselves for fear of revealing that there’s less to us than meets the eye. And by our ironic detachment, we become complicit in the enormity of the smallness of it all.
I was struck square between the eyes by the idea of pervasive ironic detachment. And now that I open my eyes and read everything around me — newspapers, blogs, magazine articles — I realize how true it is. People write as though at least they are emotionally detached from the issues of the day; at least they can see things clearly. And then there’s that touch of irony, which can be wonderful but has become so common it’s banal. The whole thing has become so common it’s banal. It’s the same
I’m seeing it in my own writing. My style has that little ironic twist to its phrasings, that sense of detachment. In fact, two major characters in the fantasy work I’m writing exemplify ironic detachment.
I don’t want it. I want nothing to do with it.
And I don’t know how to get rid of it, except by consciously rejecting it and seeking other ways of expressing myself. All I can do is hope that I’ll find some ways of avoiding this style in my writing.
I wish I had an easy little truism which would solve this, some gem of writing advice that would make it
And that’s where I am right now as a writer: Lost, confused, and questing.