Friday, June 18, 2010

Snark by David Denby

Snark: it's mean, it's personal, and it's ruining our generation. That's what David Denby is trying to get across in this book, and he states it right on the front cover. By looking at the historical origins of snark and tracing it up to its snarky presence in today's dialogues (and monologues), he is trying to make people aware of the harm that snark and snark-filled attitudes can do.

I would have identified myself as a user of snark before reading this book, but I do think now I will be more careful about using it and identifying with it. For me, the most interesting parts of the book had to do with the instances of snark surrounding the 2008 US Presidential campaigns. I'm still a little confused about all of the different rhetorical devices and styles (I don't think I will ever be comfortable using or defining irony), but this was a readable book on a topic definitely worth thinking about. It's a short book (the edition I was reading had 122 pages), so pick it up if you're looking to dive into some cultural studies.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman
Great Books by David Denby
The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll
Game Change by John Heilemann

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