Django Wylie on ALT-BRIT
Noah Cicero said that alt-lit is the product of European ugliness and existentialism, and Asian minimalism and cuteness. Since America (to me anyway) sits in the middle of Asia and Europe, this makes sense. Even more so when you consider its culturally heterogeneous migrant newness. Following this logic, then, my writing is more firmly rooted in the excess and solipsisms of the Old World. Indeed, I think my writing is, to a certain extent, ugly. It is ugly in its (over)wroughtness; in its decadence; in its very imperialistic use of subordinate clauses.
So what makes my writing ‘qualify’ as part of the community? It fits, I think, because in a certain respect it ticks Cicero’s boxes. It is, in its own way, minimal and ‘cute’ (or at least filled with pathos). There is a minimalism in terms of theme (anomie, loneliness, nihilism) and the disconnect between what is aimed at — what is striven for — and the actual effect created. I write in a style that approaches the high belles lettres of classic English Literature. But it fails. It fails because I’m not writing about war-heroes, great men etc. It fails because this style is overused and threadbare. It fails because it is, for some reason, ridiculous to us for a twenty-something in the ages of Chris Brown to write thesaurus-requiring sentences. There is hollowness and tragedy written into the sentences.