(1) Neiman-Marcus Nihilism, declaimed via six-figure Uppies and their salon-tanned, morally vacant offspring, none of whom seem to be able to make it from limo door to analyst's couch without several grams of chemical encouragement;
(2) Catatonic Realism, a.k.a. Ultraminimalism, a.k.a. Bad Carver, in which suburbs are wastelands, adults automata, and narrators blank perceptual engines, intoning in run-on monosyllables the artificial ingredients of breakfast cereal and the new human non-soul;
(3) Workshop Hermeticism, fiction for which the highest praise involves the words "competent," "finished," "problem-free," fiction over which Writing-Program pre- and proscriptions loom with the enclosing form of horizons: no character without Freudian trauma in accessible past, without near-diagnostic physical descripton; no image undissolved into regulation Updikean metaphor; no overture without a dramatized scene to "show" what's "told"; no denouement prior to an epiphany whose approach can be charted by any Freitag on any Macintosh.
wish i could find out what Updikean metaphors are like without actually having to read Updike
I'm also not entirely sure what he means by Hermeticism here. Is this just the noun form of "hermetic" (as in, closed, sealed off)? Or is he referring to the "religious, philosophical, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus"