What we mean when we talk about irony….

Just saw another approving reference to DFW’s 90s essay in which he — the most irony-driven author of his or most other generations — putatively makes his argument against irony. I hate this. The essay wasn’t actually about irony, it was about him, about his sense of own unending insincerity, unending in that even acknowledging his insincerity was itself an insincere new appeal to be liked, and so on it goes, a wilderness of mirrors. Seen in that light it is immensely painful. I wish people would stop quoting it or seeking confirmation in it of their opposition to irony. Without irony art is not possible. It’s a ludicrous thing to argue against. Like arguing against “judgment”. Or shoes.

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