± Nothing/A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
- By: John Quin
You have only to watch the news to see the modern media's take on ordinary human tragedy. The media sweeten the distress and horror, turning it into entertainment. The modern talk show, an oily slick of self disclosure, shows no sign of disappearing from our televisions. With this in mind, how might an author in the early 21st century address personal trauma with some measure of sincerity? Both the British journalist Paul Morley and David Eggers, editor of the US magazine Mac-Sweeneys, have written postmodern accounts of their post-traumatic experiences.
Morley's father committed suicide, and the police came knocking on the front door to break the news. Eggers' parents died within three months of each other, leaving him in his early 20s to look after his younger brother. Avoiding pathos and sentimentality, both writers use new methods of disclosure to grieve in print, taking hints from the twin masters of