Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

The Attack on the Memoir: Not Interested, Says Tobias Wolff!

In the most-recent New York Times Book Review came an attack on the memoir. Well, technically it was an attack on the memoir written by anyone outside the circle of the “memoir-eligible.” It goes: "There was a time when you had to earn the right to draft a memoir," and then proceeds to savage three recent memoirs. The author, Neil Genzlinger, yearned for a now-distant day, when “unremarkable lives went unremarked upon, the way God intended."

“Who does he think he is?” said Natalie Goldberg, memoirist and author of the Writing Down the Bones and the recent Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir, calling [...]


Sullivan and Greenwald Down! Krugman Fine! We Check in on Blogger Health

Given that Andrew Sullivan was out sick all last week (asthma and bronchitis) and that Glenn Greenwald was just released from the hospital after contracting dengue fever, we thought we’d ask around and see how some other prominent bloggers are doing in this age of cyber-disease.

Uh oh! New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is taking the day off today from his blog “The Conscience of a Liberal”! But worry not—he's just preparing for the new semester of teaching. And he's going nowhere. Krugman wrote in an email to us that he plans to continue blogging “as long as I think I’m having an impact [...]


Our Critics Will Not Be With Us Forever

"The age of evaluation, of the Olympian critic as cultural arbiter, is over," wrote Stephen Burn recently in the New York Times Book Review. The sun may be setting on the “Olympian” stature the critic formerly enjoyed, while the age of everyman-as-critic is on the rise. Academic critics may not be in such danger—God did, after all, create tenure. So what of the future of the journalist-critic, the op-ed columnist and the professional cultural commentator?

There's an assumption that most influential opinion and culture critics and commentators have been safely ensconced in the mastheads of prestigious publications forever and have used their fancy office letterheads to cultivate [...]