Hating Dave Eggers

Lisa Borst at n+1:

Eggers is hardly a systems novelist: his literary sensibilities, like his career, tend toward the monomaniacal. His writing in the past two decades has involved a suspiciously prolific series of smug morality tales fictionalizing or nonfictionalizing real people—a heroic Sudanese refugee, a heroic Yemeni coffee importer later accused of racketeering, Donald Trump—as well as novels about loners in perilous circumstances. He has also written children’s books, left-of-center comedic op-eds, and articles for the New Yorker about human rights and how much he loves wine. But evident throughout his literary output, as in his incoherent and self-congratulatory apparatus of publishing programs, bookselling platforms, and children’s literacy programs, is an ongoing fascination with epic, world-conquering ambition. The characters in A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, I was embarrassed to reread, are “sure that we are on to something epochal . . . sure that we speak for others, that we speak for millions”; in his 2006 foreword to Infinite Jest, Eggers lingers, enviously and, I think, not un-Bezosishly, on Wallace’s all-seeing book as an example of the “human possibility [for] leaps in science and athletics and art and thought.”

more here.