I think he’s one of the most misunderstood contemporary authors.
Several years back, I went to a reading he did downtown. He shared parts of what would eventually be The Discomfort Zone, and I remember being so taken by his manner–something of an intellectual realist, alarmingly self-conscious and critical of the sorts of things people should be but too frequently aren’t, both visibly nervous and in some way brave.
This recent interview doesn’t quite illuminate these things, but it offers glimmers of them every so often. (The “Avril Sévigné” thing is priceless, and, I think, a little bit heartbreaking.)