Awkwardness infects The New Yorker

Elif Batuman has a post up at a New Yorker blog about awkwardness, which engages with my work on the topic at length. She makes a slight tweak to my historical progression toward awkwardness, arguing that it was specifically the shock of realizing that the Iraq War was a total scam that shattered the patriotic sincerity that briefly reigned after 9/11 and ushered in the era of unmitigated awkwardness. It includes some interesting thoughts on the inherent awkwardness of the family and on Mad Men as a product of the awkward age as well.

7 Responses to “Awkwardness infects The New Yorker

  1. Paul Reid-Bowen Says:

    On a far less prestigious level, awkwardness will also be infecting my undergraduate course on Life and Meaning year this year. Sartre on anguish, Heidegger on boredom and Kotsko on awkwardness should be a fun way to finish the year.

  2. ben Says:

    Continuing the descent down the prestige ladder, a few months ago I started writing something in response to the book, which I abandoned as not remotely timely. Perhaps, though, Batuman’s piece proves I was wrong!

  3. Adam Kotsko Says:

    I’m honored, Paul! I would be honored by Ben, too, if he ever finishes the post.

  4. Josh K-sky Says:

    Oh this is good. I have long been irritated by the lack of Kotsko-quoting thinkpieces in our major publications.

  5. Josh K-sky Says:

    It feels a bit like the beginning of a longer essay, and I wish it would come back and acknowledge its sustained interaction with your argument. But still, Conde Nast w00t! Next up: Why We Love Sociopaths in Vanity Fair.

  6. Kevin Says:

    Wow. Seriously, that’s really cool. Congratulations!

  7. mattintoledo Says:

    Congratulations! That article is currently listed as #4 on their “Most Popular”. This probably says bad things about me, but if it were my piece, I’d probably put “as mentioned in the New Yorker” on my business cards and in my self-introductions.

    “The name may sound familiar because I was just recently mentioned in the New Yorker.”
    “Look, I just need a name to write on the coffee cup, sir.”


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