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ATAMI, Japan—This resort town, once popular with honeymooners, is turning to a new breed of romance seekers—virtual sweethearts.
Since the marriage rate among Japan's shrinking population is falling and with many of the country's remaining lovebirds heading for Hawaii or Australia's Gold Coast, Atami had to do something.
Having delivered the line, Hannah retreats into uncomfortable self-awareness, adding: “Or generation.” As a literary stratagem — laying down a marker in the popular culture without making herself vulnerable to accusations that she might be taking herself too seriously — the maneuver is transparent.
It is far more troubling that she uses the same technique in real life, for matters much more serious than the plot of In that sense, Lena Dunham may truly be the voice of her generation: The enormous affluence and indulgence of her upbringing did not sate her sundry hungers — for adoration, for intellectual respect that she has not earned, for the unsurpassable delight of moral preening — but instead amplified and intensified her sense of entitlement.
“I think I may be the voice of my generation.” So says Lena Dunham in the role of her alter ego, Hannah Horvath, in the first episode of , the HBO series she has been writing and starring in since 2012.
The scene is classic Dunham, if we can use “classic” to describe a phenomenon of such recent vintage.
The Brooklyn of is nothing more or less than a 21st-century version of the Malibu Barbie Dreamhouse, with New York City taxis standing in for the pink Corvette.
Writers naturally indulge their own autobiographical and social fantasies, from represents a phenomenon distinctly of our time: the fantasy not worth having.
Instead, the line is assigned to her alter ego, who is at the time of the utterance high as a Georgia pine on opium tea and trying to convince her parents to keep supporting her financially.
The basic sentiment is there in plain English, but it must be qualified, run through the irony dicer until it is practically a Cubist representation of the original, and held at a comfortable distance.
Dunham very clearly does want to be considered the voice of her generation, as her recently published memoir — , and others.
It is trying to attract single men—and their handheld devices.
Here is a list of things in Lena Dunham’s life that do not strike Lena Dunham as being unusual: growing up in a .25 million Tribeca apartment; attending a selection of elite private schools; renting a home in Hollywood Hills well before having anything quite resembling a job and complaining that the home is insufficiently “chic”; the habitual education of the men in her family at Andover; the services of a string of foreign nannies; being referred to a when she refused to do her homework and being referred to a relationship therapist when she fought with her mother; constant visits to homeopathic doctors, and visits to child psychologists three times a week; having a summer home on a lake in Connecticut, and complaining about it; writing a “voice of her generation” memoir in which ordinary life events among members of her generation, such as making student-loan payments or worrying about the rent or health insurance, never come up; making casual trips to Malibu; her grandparents’ having taken seven-week trips to Europe during her mother’s childhood; spending a summer at a camp at which the costs can total almost as much as the median American family’s annual rent; being histrionically miserable at said camp and demanding to be brought home early; demanding to be sent back to the same expensive camp the next year.Dunham is not satisfied with the manipulation of fantasy alone: She seeks to curate, narrate, and direct the real world as though it were an episode of her television show.