So many people apparently delight in their fellows experiencing pain that a term, lifted from the German (Schaden means damage and Freude, joy), and employed regularly by psychoanalysts, has become almost a colloquialism.
It was like when you turn on a TV set after spending a significant period of time streaming television online. Suddenly, you're covering your ears and asking why those Kia hamsters can't play a different song. You never used to notice the commercials, but now they're all you can hear.
Be a dude, ideally dead. Questions to ask yourself: What's the body count? Are your characters suffering? Add more violence. Are your characters sufficiently coarsened by the inequities of modern life? Add more profanity.
Can the phrase "Great American Novel" only be applied to realistic novels that attempt to capture the mainstream American experience? Or can it be applied to other novels that are more diverse in terms of either subject matter or literary approach?
At Printer's Row Book Festival in Chicago last weekend, a big topic of conversation was a remark by a prominent male writer that no woman writer was his equal. He used the term "feminine tosh."Tosh" swiftly became the buzz word of the weekend.