Sergio De La Pava Does Not Live In Brooklyn
via Chicago Reader:
In May, The University of Chicago Press will release Sergio De La Pava's novel, A Naked Singularity. (The cover of which, pictured above, is giving me a headache.)
This is the author bio on the advance copy's book jacket.
Sergio De La Pava is a writer who does not live in Brooklyn.
The joke may not make a whole lot of sense if you don't live in New York City, but here's the gist: Brooklyn is considered to be some sort of Literary Mecca. A lot of contemporary heavy-hitters make their home there (Jonathan Safran Foer, Paul Auster, Colson Whitehead, Jonathan Ames, just to name a few), to the point where people are moving to Brooklyn because they think it'll make them write better, or something.
At the same time the borough is becoming a parody of itself. For example: artisanal pencil sharpening. This is the heart and soul of the new Brooklyn, ladies and gentlemen.
Whitehead wrote a very funny essay about "Brooklyn as a literary destination" for The New York Times:
As you may have heard, all the writers are in Brooklyn these days. It’s the place to be. You’re simply not a writer if you don’t live here. Google “brooklyn writer” and you’ll get, Did you mean: the future of literature as we know it? People are coming in from all over. In fact, the physical act of moving your possessions from Manhattan to Brooklyn is now the equivalent of a two-year M.F.A. program. When you get to the other side, they hand you three Moleskine notebooks and a copy of “Blogging for Dummies.”
Anyway, I know a guy who moved to Paris for a few weeks to write because he thought it would inspire him. Do you think it matters where you live? Is writing in Paris or Brooklyn going to inspire better work than if you live in, say, Duluth?
Tell us what you think in the comments.
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