Elizabeth Wurtzel’s indefensible demise

Recently, Elizabeth Wurtzel was taken to task by a variety of younger bloggers for being the latest Gen-Xer to slam Millenials in this piece.  The first thing I thought when I read it was, I miss that voice: the sound of people my age pissed off and ranting about something so eloquently.  The second thing I thought was who is Elizabeth Wurtzel, anyways?  And the third thing I thought was: of course they didn’t get it, there’s too much sarcasm here for anyone under 30 to possibly understand.

I agree with the overall point of the article, and have spent the past few days trying to think of a way to defend this person’s sometimes crass argument.  Maybe she did throw a bit too many sharp elbows at the kids on her way through.  But maybe kids who grew up not having to figure out how to avoid sharp things just don’t know how to deal with that.  And to some extent that’s the whole point.

So according to Wikipedia, Elizabeth Wurtzel is someone who became famous for writing a book at about the same time I was learning how to solve a differential equation.  And she also apparently made some questionable choices in the two decades since then.  But something gave me the feeling that Wikipedia wasn’t the best source to explain someone like Elizabeth Wurtzel.  Fortunately, Jennifer over at JenX67 is much more acquainted with Elizabeth Wurtzel than I am.  She had this to say about her.  If you have the time and you like to read good writing, click on the link on the bottom of her article.  I found it to be the prefect read for a snowy weekend.  And it’s how I found out who Elizabeth Wurtzel was.

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2 Responses to “Elizabeth Wurtzel’s indefensible demise”

  1. Your writing is so smart. I wanted to say everything you said, but just did not have the energy. And, I really like the title of this post. Her demise is indefensible, not because she is to blame, but how can one defend genetic predispositions? I love Wurtzel in the way I love everyone who tries to bear witness to the Generation X story. Maybe it is as Cather said – one of two or three human stories that go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they’d never been told. And, so as I love her, I worry that one day I am going to find that she has gone the way of David Foster Wallace. I hope not. And, I’d write her a letter, but then I’d be like one of the crazy fans writing missives on her Instagram page. Weird. Thanks for the shout-out.

    • Thanks. The title was mainly intended as a riff off of one of the most fiercely attacked bits of her piece. I’d been trying to think of what to say about it since I first read it on Wednesday, and it wasn’t until I read the link at the bottom of your article that I felt ok about what to write.

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