To be published Sunday: a literary throw-down of unparalleled proportions. How great! A couple of weeks ago, George Packer reviewed for the Times Mark Danner's Stripping Bare the Body, a book that explores violence and war from Haiti to the Balkans to Iraq. This review did not do much for Danner. Hence, this coming Sunday, there is an enormous, enormous letter of complaint-it takes up more than a full page-and as well a not-terribly-brief rejoinder from Packer. We have some advance to show you!
Oh it does go on. That is just the beginning.
Packer's response? That they're not actually friends, nor were they ever coworkers, and haven't in fact met that frequently. (Six times, he says!) And:
Some of Danner's work has my complete admiration-"a European niche in American letters" is only a term of abuse if you want it to be. My criticisms of his essays were based on literary, moral and intellectual, not political, grounds.