A Little More of the Tao

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The Atlantic just did a little piece about Tao Lin here. Apropos of an article Lin published a couple weeks ago about being arrested for trespassing, the Atlantic’s Hua Hsu writes: “The piece gives you a good sense of Lin’s writerly persona—his prose is placid, spare, vaguely hypnotic, “possibly” “ironic,” and he’s faintly self-obsessed but in a harmless, almost banal way.”

Most interesting, though, are these observations from Hsu:

“Why is Lin so polarizing?  The comments that follow the Gawker “piece” are generally annoyed or sarcastically dismissive, which is expected given how long and gossip/link-free it is. But is Lin’s writing, as the detractors say, truly narcissistic or selfish? What does it mean to be narcissistic enough to be branded a narcissist, when we are all in the business of cultivating online followers and friends, issuing steady streams of news releases about our wavering moods? There’s something refreshing to me about Lin’s writing, the way it manages to be wholly about him, but deny our craving for interiority or motive.”

Read the whole thing here.


Jeremy Hatch is a writer, musician, and professional bookseller leading a cheerful, aimless life in San Francisco. He is the Junior Literary Editor of the Rumpus and has a blog which he updates once in a while. More from this author →