But accuracy isn’t always artistry, and, while pangs of recognition can be thrilling—novels set in your Brooklyn neighborhood, a reference to a bottle of Sriracha in the fridge, scenes scored with your favorite indie band—it’s intellectually disingenuous to allow that recognition to masquerade as some higher order of feeling. Owing to the rise in niche media, specificity—of language, of dress, of eating habits—is taking the place of narrative empathy. People love thinking about themselves, and getting someone to like something—or to “like” something—seldom requires much more than giving them the chance to celebrate their own personal history.
— Maybe my favorite part of this Alice Gregory piece on Nicole Holofcener for The New Yorker is that it’s accurate enough so it’s impossible to write anything intelligent about it besides Nailed It, Ms. Gregory. She’s very insightful regarding internet-era mores and I’d love to see more of that from her pen. Plus it skillfully adds a quote from the wackest Edith Wharton, a book that reads as if Wharton rewrote The Wings of the Dove with a goal of happiness.