London’s Sunday Times yesterday included a gushing essay by author Stephen Amidon about Dave Eggers’ massively popular literary brand, McSweeney’s, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The article praises Mr. Eggers as a “charismatic and indefatigable literary style guru” whose publishing “empire” fuses just the right mix of raw talent, eccentricity and social consciousness to make McSweeney’s, as Granta was before it, the number one “talent-spotter of new American fiction.” " What really sets Eggers’s empire a part, though, is that it possesses that most elusive and valued of modern attributes: a brand," Mr. Amidon writes. His vision of the “ideal McSweeney’s reader”? He (or she) “lives in Brooklyn, wears interesting T-shirts, has a blog he works on in coffee shops, and knows it’s cool to oppose globalisation but uncool to go on too much about it.” In other words, the ideal McSweeney’s reader is the entire population of Williamsburg and Park Slope? Well, that certainly jives with Mr. Amidon’s subsequent suggestion that the San Fransisco-based McSweeney’s “wants to make the world a better place – or at least more like the cooler parts of Brooklyn.”
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