Girly, Arty Angst
At the Atlantic, Amy Weiss-Meyer discusses debut authors Rebecca Schiff and Abigail Ulman, placing them, along with writer Lena Dunham, in a group of authors that critic Harold Rosenberg calls a “mass culture of individuals:”
Theirs is a literary ecosystem fueled by the dream of achieving viral acclaim—of appealing to the masses by parading one’s exquisite, insecure individuality. The heroes of this ecosystem, in movies and on TV shows as in books, are the popular girls whose fame and celebrity come from essays like “Girl Crush: That Time I Was Almost a Lesbian, Then Vomited”…and from frank exposure of bespoke tattoos on cable television. Schiff and Ulman aren’t mimicking Dunham so much as they’re gleefully—fondly—spoofing the predictability of her brand.