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Oh, the Irony!

Oh, the Irony! v Th e D o l l a r D e b a u c h Oh, the Irony! 3 Chris Lehmann n the long-ago time of the nineties, tech markets boomed and day traders roamed the far horizon. Neoliberal trade policies flattened the globe; centrist Third Way statesmen rolled up budget surpluses and doled out tax cuts. The pop-cultural soundtrack to this cheerful abundance was a mood of studied irony. Artists, musicians, and writers dwelled lovingly on the coy telescripts, broad sitcom humor, and emotional guile of their not-toodistant youths, exposing the hollow conceits behind it all with a gentle, telltale whimsy. And the crown prince of that sweet ironic caesura was Dave Eggers. Eggers was a rarity in the slacker-fied precincts of nineties irony: a savvy self-marketer and an institution builder. At the center of his many enterprises was the brand called Dave Eggers. After launching an arch popcult monthly called Might (the name was its own pointed study in irony, suggesting both the inherent power and precariousness of cultcrit ventures), Eggers published his great reputation-making work. It was, naturally, a memoir, bearing the ironic title A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The memoir opens with http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Baffler MIT Press

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2012 Chris Lehmann
Subject
The Dollar Debauch
ISSN
1059-9789
eISSN
2164-926X
DOI
10.1162/BFLR_a_00106
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

v Th e D o l l a r D e b a u c h Oh, the Irony! 3 Chris Lehmann n the long-ago time of the nineties, tech markets boomed and day traders roamed the far horizon. Neoliberal trade policies flattened the globe; centrist Third Way statesmen rolled up budget surpluses and doled out tax cuts. The pop-cultural soundtrack to this cheerful abundance was a mood of studied irony. Artists, musicians, and writers dwelled lovingly on the coy telescripts, broad sitcom humor, and emotional guile of their not-toodistant youths, exposing the hollow conceits behind it all with a gentle, telltale whimsy. And the crown prince of that sweet ironic caesura was Dave Eggers. Eggers was a rarity in the slacker-fied precincts of nineties irony: a savvy self-marketer and an institution builder. At the center of his many enterprises was the brand called Dave Eggers. After launching an arch popcult monthly called Might (the name was its own pointed study in irony, suggesting both the inherent power and precariousness of cultcrit ventures), Eggers published his great reputation-making work. It was, naturally, a memoir, bearing the ironic title A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The memoir opens with

Journal

The BafflerMIT Press

Published: Nov 1, 2012

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