Friday, January 09, 2004

Actually, a couple of years ago the paragon of the New Earnestness was an old boy-genius college classmate of mine, Jedediah Purdy, whose book For Common Things earned him a number of awestruck but mildly condescending notices and profiles, most of which focused on the idea that he was against our age of irony. I must admit I have yet to read Jed's book, but the reviews made me feel a little bad for him; he's a sweet and smart guy, but the general gist in the press was that for such a young man to be so impossibly, well, earnest meant he had to be either hopelessly naive or some kind of charlatan.

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