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Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film [Kindle Edition]

Marc Spitz

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New York Times, Spin, and Vanity Fair contributor Marc Spitz explores the first great cultural movement since Hip Hop: an old-fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that’s embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty-somethings and even some Baby Boomers; creating hybrid generation known as Twee. Via exclusive interviews and years of research, Spitz traces Generation Twee’s roots from the Post War 50s to its dominance in popular culture today.

Vampire Weekend, Garden State, Miranda July, Belle and Sebastian, Wes Anderson, Mumblecore, McSweeney’s, Morrissey, beards, artisanal pickles, food trucks, crocheted owls on Etsy, ukuleles, kittens and Zooey Deschanel—all are examples of a cultural aesthetic of calculated precocity known as Twee.

In Twee, journalist and cultural observer Marc Spitz surveys the rising Twee movement in music, art, film, fashion, food and politics and examines the cross-pollinated generation that embodies it—from aging hipsters to nerd girls, indie snobs to idealistic industrialists. Spitz outlines the history of twee—the first strong, diverse, and wildly influential youth movement since Punk in the ’70s and Hip Hop in the ’80s—showing how awkward glamour and fierce independence has become part of the zeitgeist.

Focusing on its origins and hallmarks, he charts the rise of this trend from its forefathers like Disney, Salinger, Plath, Seuss, Sendak, Blume and Jonathan Richman to its underground roots in the post-punk United Kingdom, through the late’80s and early ’90s of K Records, Whit Stillman, Nirvana, Wes Anderson, Pitchfork, This American Life, and Belle and Sebastian, to the current (and sometimes polarizing) appeal of Girls, Arcade Fire, Rookie magazine, and

Revealing a movement defined by passionate fandom, bespoke tastes, a rebellious lack of irony or swagger, the championing of the underdog, and the vanquishing of bullies, Spitz uncovers the secrets of modern youth culture: how Twee became pervasive, why it has so many haters and where, in a post-Portlandia world, can it go from here?


What is the most polarizing and important youth movement since Hip-Hop?


Artisanal chocolate. Mustaches. Locally sourced vegetables. Etsy. Birds.
Flea markets. Cult films. Horn-rimmed glasses.

What do all of these icons have in common? They are signifiers that author Marc Spitz groups as falling under the umbrella of Twee, a powerful, expansive youth movement that has colored popular culture in surprising ways.

In the same way that Douglas Coupland branded Generation X with his groundbreaking novel, Spitz gives name to a sensibility that prizes kindness over irony, encourages obsessive fandom and collection culture, supports a hunger for purity of craft, and, most important, strives for the preservation of the innocence of childhood. As a result, Twee is divisive, and Spitz shows that there is a tribe of people who fiercely self-identify while others simply cringe.

Twee features exclusive interviews plus in-depth research on Twee touchstones past and present, including Walt Disney, James Dean, J. D. Salinger, Sylvia Plath, Dr. Seuss, Truman Capote, Maurice Sendak, Edward Gorey, Jean Seberg, the Kinks, Judy Blume, Nick Drake, Jonathan Richman, Beat Happening, the Smiths, They Might Be Giants, Nirvana, Belle and Sebastian, Wes Anderson, Pitchfork, This American Life, McSweeney's, mumblecore, Vampire Weekend, Sufjan Stevens, Miranda July, Tavi Gevinson, Lena Dunham, Portlandia, and Zooey Deschanel.

Expansive, engaging, and festooned with more than enough kittens, this is the first definitive history of Twee.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 882 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 355 Seiten
  • Verlag: It Books (3. Juni 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00FJ330KU
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #533.320 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.8 von 5 Sternen  9 Rezensionen
12 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Meh 7. Juli 2014
Von MemeBag - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I started this book with only a vague notion of what 'twee' was. After finishing it I think the author has a similarly vague understanding of it. The early sections make sense, but when he gets to punk rock and grunge it all falls apart. Some of the things he classifies as twee make sense, but others just seem like subjects he wants to write about. He conflates a number of pop trends that are seen in Brooklyn, but I don't see how they can all be twee.

Most of the book is a list of what is twee and what isn't, with a little history and opinion mixed in. He wraps it up with the opinion that twee will make the world a 'softer' place, and he says that's a good thing. I think he needs to step back and get a little perspective. Soft is fun when you can afford it, but hard people will exploit soft people whenever they get the chance.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting, Engaging Book About an Under-Documented Phenomenon 6. August 2014
Von RocketRaccoon - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
It's a wonderful little book about a cultural phenomenon that I was unaware of, but now totally convinced of. The book follows a narrative arc, documenting what Spitz calls a "canon" of Twee, i.e. the biggest forerunners and examples of the Twee aesthetic in film, television, literature, and perhaps above all, music. It was interesting to hear in-depth discussion about familiar names such as Wes Anderson, The Smiths, and Belle and Sebastian, and also interesting to find out about musicians, authors, and filmmakers whom I had never heard of; indeed, the book provides quite a reading/viewing/listening list (literally, at the back of the book).

I would have liked to see a little bit more departure from the narrative arc, to flesh out the concept of "Twee" a little bit more; how does it intersect with the concepts of indie and hipster? Are they synonymous? Does one concept encompass the others? Spitz also sometimes departs into heavy-handed social commentary, deriding Twee and its icons for being too explicitly white, upper-middle class. The ending of the book, however, praises Twee and, in a sort of guilty way, claims that it is the way of the future. One can tell that Spitz is a bit conflicted, but it would have been nice to see him flesh these ideas out more instead of just sticking to the narrative arc.

All in all, it's a very interesting read, especially for those who will get some of the pop-cultural references (and if you were aware of pop culture at any point since the '50s, you'll get some of them). If you are like me, it may also cause you to do some self-reflection and realize, "I think I might be Twee!" Definitely buy and read this book if you are interested in any aspect of pop-culture at all or in what your connection to broader culture is; it's fairly short, well-written, and above all, a fun read.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting, if not completely convincing, take on current culture. 6. Juni 2014
Von William Ashbless - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
As we get older, we inevitiably lose touch with what's current. Certain cultural trends can seem opaque.

"Twee" helps. While I don't necessarity buy into the idea that all the elements presented are part of some overarching movement, I think the author is indeed onto something. However, there is just not enough connective tissue linking all of the subjects together. While the presentation of various trends was interesting and informative, the thesis of the book, that "twee" is a real movement linking all these things together, remains nebulous.

So, while I am not convinced that "twee" is anything more than a cultural vein that has always existed -- the "esthete" -- I appreciate the long seciton of the book discussing current interests. Actors, artists, bands, authors -- I am alwaya interested in learning about things that become part of the zeitgeist.

BTW, The Kinks, in my opinion, get way too little ink. Their albums albums "Face to Face," "Something Else" and "The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society" deserve particular mention. In any historical discussion of "twee," these are central pillars.

In any case, I feel I have a bit more perspective on the younger generation's tastes and views.
4.0 von 5 Sternen revi 30. September 2014
Von mbil22 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I'm not sure if this is a revolution or a return to values that have always been hovering in the background. Born and having lived my first 17 years in bklyn I didn't see anything new hear, but a good synthesis of what's going on across popular culture.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining 29. November 2014
Von Tort Lawyer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Very entertaining- lots of references to music and movies I was unaware of and turned me onto some good "new" stuff. If you are simply looking to be entertained this is a great read.
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