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February 15, 2005

Ada Or Craphead

Neal--

Good for you for defending the McSweeney's crew. It's funny that Ada Calhoun rips apart McSwy solipsism when it's her own that is so suspect: by confusing the legacy of McSwy with her own lame NY smartsex-in-the-city love life. What I wish she had written was this....the thing for so many of us who loved McSweeney's that is so sour now is that Eggers and Crew have produced one thing--and that's A Heartbreaking Work--of any sort of actual literary merit (I love the NP Anthology, but that is a work of comedy; great comedy). For so many of us who went to the readings and the bars and did the whole thing....what feels so empty now is that those writers have produced NOTHING of lasting merit...and God, how foolish I feel that I was going nuts for McSwys when a real writer like Philip Roth was publishing American Pastoral or Ford was writing Independence Day...looking back at the journals and the writing, I realize the problem was that McSweeney's was just a really great humor magazine that became artistic, and those stories are such a waste, not a page as rich as some of the great writing that came out at the time...I think that's the reason for Calhoun's anger...not that some hipster didn't go down on her, but rather, with artists, it's nice to feel like you've invested your time and are at least by association part of something that matters, something that people will care about, and the legacy of McSweeneys is sadly not that, and a lot of us just feel gypped....which is why I applaud your new direction....

Joey

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