Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
3

Why Can't Johnny Read? A Bunch of Men on How Janet Malcolm Is Awful

"I’ve never read Janet Malcom [sic], and I doubt I ever will."
That's journalism professor Matt Tullis, who follows this comment with 581 words on how awful she is. I guess he would know! GOOD FUN. So wouldn't you love to read a bunch of dudes writing really poorly and really very angrily about Janet Malcolm? One guy is incensed that she has taken "a grand run at my profession." (They are talking about a book that came out 21 years ago?) Anyway, sure you would! You could also read Tom Junod on the topic, who writes, in Esquire: "Janet's [sic] Malcolm's a self-hater whose work has managed to speak for the self-hatred (not to mention the class issues) of a profession that has designs on being 'one of the professions' but never will be." This is a pretty amazing case study.

3 Comments / Post A Comment

Ham Snadwich (#11,842)

So, journalist who hates journalists gets hated on by journalists.

Rollo (#3,202)

I'd rather read Janet Malcolm (or anyone!) on how Tom Junod is an insufferably precious feature writer.

SeanP (#4,058)

I've, uhhh, not read the work in question, so go right ahead and discount this. But my understanding is that The Journalist and the Murderer is at least somewhat about McGinniss's failure to be honest with MacDonald about the slant his book was taking. 1) The idea that McGinniss changed his mind about MacDonald's guilt because MacDonald was a boring character seems… dubious. And 2) I really can't spare any outrage for the sin of not being completely honest with the guy who murdered his entire family.

But then I'm basing this on a summary of Malcolm's book rather than the book itself, so there's a good chance I'm off base here.

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