@JananGanesh on a Generation ‘that has found power before finding its voice’ : American Writer wonders at this collection of cliches.

From its inauspicious beginning:

That jangling sound is the keys to the world being passed to millennials. People born in the general radius of 1980 now govern democracies as mature as France, Ireland, New Zealand and Austria. Mohammed bin Salman is a revisionist force in the Middle East. The Ryan Goslings and Jennifer Lawrences rule Hollywood. In the next season or two, the 30-year-old Julian Nagelsmann should become the first millennial to coach one of Europe’s elite football clubs. And while he squirmed a bit, Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing felt like a generational moment — the entrepreneur all but taking his elders by the hand as he explained the rudiments of online business.

To its its dismal end:

Presidencies come and go, businesses fold: what lasts of a generation are the stories it writes about itself. The millennial contribution to literature is not nothing, but it favours the small, highly personal narrative, such as Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs To You, rather than the “baggy monsters” of yesteryear, with their digressions into what it meant to be alive at that time. The absence of such definitive texts could be proof of a very un-boomer-like humility, or of a generation that has found power before finding its voice.

Gore Vidal long ago pronounced that the ‘Novel’ had probably seen its day, replaced by Movies and Television. Mr. Vidal is probably an alien voice, unfamiliar to Mr. Ganesh:Vidal, Mailer and Capote, post WWII American novelists, who once ruled the American Literary Roost. While the jejune tales authored by Updike, represented the safe middlebrow world of Book -of-the-Month -Club bestsellers: an appetite for  ‘The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit’ post-war tortured aspirationalism of the children of the Depression.

Mr. Ganesh proves that he can write, spin a mythology about Millennial’s inability at finding their ‘voice’, that relies on  stunningly superficial reading,  a potted history of the Millennial’s sensibility/politics in its largest sense. The capacious, with reference to a set of carefully chosen instantiations of that sensibility/politics, and its befuddlingly absent literary expressions.

Presidencies come and go, businesses fold: what lasts of a generation are the stories it writes about itself. The millennial contribution to literature is not nothing, but it favours the small, highly personal narrative, such as Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs To You, rather than the “baggy monsters” of yesteryear, with their digressions into what it meant to be alive at that time. The absence of such definitive texts could be proof of a very un-boomer-like humility, or of a generation that has found power before finding its voice.

That takes this readers breath away: how can an essay be at the same moment stylistically evocative, and so utterly vacuous? So framed by deliberate- as a Baby-Boomer, born in 1945, I fail to see what Mr. Ganesh perceives to be an existential fact, to engage in an ‘outmoded vocabulary’ utterly alien to the Millennial Sensibility. It must be the evidence of my Generation myopia!

Mr. Ganesh should be congratulated for his engaging rhetorical performance, yet his rhetorical  armature doesn’t quite provide the necessary balance:   Mr. Ganesh writes a beguiling feuilleton.

American Writer

https://www.ft.com/content/91d73a6c-43c2-11e8-93cf-67ac3a6482fd

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer.
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