Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Interview with Benjamin Nugent, author of "American Nerd" | Salon Books: "In his absorbing new book, 'American Nerd: The Story of My People,' Benjamin Nugent chronicles this underdog class. He considers the etymology of the word 'nerd' -- possible origins include the name of a creature in Dr. Seuss' 1950 book 'If I Ran the Zoo,' and a bucktoothed ventriloquist dummy dubbed 'Mortimer Snerd' -- and explores the world of hipsters, 'an androgynous paradise where adults of both sexes look like enlarged spelling-bee champions.' He traces popular representations of nerds, from Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein,' to Gilda Radner and Bill Murray's sketches on 'Saturday Night Live,' to 'Napoleon Dynamite.' And he asks what a person's race has to do with their chances of being a nerd. Are nerds born, or are they made? According to Nugent, it's both."
Posted by teckron at 10:29 AM