The new term brother, or frat satire, was coined a year ago by Warren St. John of the New York Times, presumably because its editors did not approve of another term that rhymes with “chick lit”.
But somehow, fratire just doesn’t seem catchy enough. And that concern for frat culture, is throwing up on your own shoes really that interesting?
What if – boychik bed instead of? Derived from the Yiddish word for a young man who has more cheek than brains? Boychik lit can be a counterpoint, an alternative and a parody of the very popular genre of fiction oriented to women. In addition, boychik lit challenges the widespread notion that today’s youth do not want or cannot read, presumably because they have been conquered, co-opted, and killed by the video game industry and excessive self-abuse.
As for the general population, even if they’re not rabid chick lit fans, the woman-on-the-street and her long-haired male companion will know something about The diaryof Bridget Jones Y The Devil Wears Prada. An even larger audience of viewers will have eagerly awaited episode after episode that will captivate the bodice of Sex and the City.
You don’t have to wander beyond the lush pastures of HBO to find the boychik lit demographic home. Entourage is a series about budding young men in Hollywood. As predictably repetitive as the subject of punctuation in Babe-alon is, not only young men, but also men of a certain age who fantasize about being young never seem to tire of Entourage.
Boychik’s godfather was Peter De Vries, a longtime New Yorker editor and (today) the sadly late and mostly anonymous teacher of the male-centered comic novel. For example, never someone who strays from subjects of questionable taste, wrote de Vries Hunched towards Kalamazoo, about a confused young man who eloped with his teacher, and Always panting about an actor in distress who divorces his wife to marry his mother-in-law.
To sum up, in the boychik-lit story:
- The male lead character seeks sex and is baffled by emotional entanglements.
- He’s a hacker and lazy, smart and resourceful but chronically lazy.
- He is a quitter who cannot keep a steady job.
- Far from being the hero with a single tragic flaw, the boychik is riddled with troubling flaws, with one or two possibly redeeming qualities.
- The tone is observational and witty, sometimes sarcastic.
- The boychik tells his story in a confessional first-person narrative.
- By the end of the novel, the hero has almost managed to undo the complicated mess he has made in the course of the story and believes that he has learned important lessons, which may or may not be valid.
Oh, and one more crucial distinction: the romance novel typically takes place in New York City, where, ironically, many people easily understand what a boychik is. Boychik’s novel is set in Los Angeles, where many people will mistakenly assume that boychiks wear wigs and stilettos and hang out in certain West Hollywood bars.
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