Short shot #37: titles full of pronouns and ennui

Todd Pruzan reviews Justin Taylor’s Everything Here Is the Best Ever in the NYT Book Review of February 15:

In 1981, Raymond Carver advanced a literary genre with “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” The movement wasn’t dirty realism or minimalism, but “vaguely titled fiction”: stories concealing their intensity and anxiety behind titles full of pronouns and ennui, signifying nothing much about their narratives. The device is now well established, thank’s to Joshua Ferris’s “Then We Came to the End,” Miranda July’s “No One Belongs Here More Than You,” Maile Meloy’s “Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It” and the Everest of the genre, Lorrie Moore’s “People Like That Are the Only People Here.”

I wouldn’t take these titles to indicate ennui (I concede on pronouns), but rather a reticent masking of strong emotions. But what do I know? I’m no literary critic.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: