A man in his 30s sits down to write his autobiography. He knows that doing so is a rather silly proposition. After all, what does a man in his 30s know? What has he lived through worth retelling? What experiences can he recount, what knowledge can he impart, that others will find meaningful or useful? So he sits there for a while, ponders the blank sheet before him, and begins furiously scribbling all the reasons no one will care about his life story. He then decides to include these 30 or so pages at the beginning of his autobiography -- not so much to apologize for thinking he's cool or interesting enough to merit being the subject of his own book, but to create enough ironic distance from the subject to let people know that he knows that what he's doing is, well, rather silly. See, it's a joke ... and it's not. (See the section about "the knowingness about the book's self-conscious... More >>>