Glenn Beck is the New John Updike

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“For the past nine months, ever since a certain somebody seized the White House, conservative pundits have dominated the ranks of nonfiction. …

It would be easy enough, and rather predictable, to lament this state of affairs and to find in it evidence of an anemic literary culture, a dangerously aggrieved minority, or at the very least the diabolical efficacy of bulk sales.

But such liberal cant totally misses the point. Having spent the past two weeks in what I might call a spiritual communion with these authors, I can assure you that these texts are not the psychotic, fact-challenged rants of the mad, but carefully crafted metafictions in which the mundane terrors of cultural dislocation are recast as riveting epics of paranoia.”

— From Steve Almond’s essay  “Glenn Beck is the Future of Literary Fiction” over at salon.com.

Also see the latest installment of Almond’s Bad Poetry Corner here at The Rumpus.


Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →