As he writes about old men failing at sex, and raging about failing at sex, we see the old writer failing at writing about sex, which is, of course, a spectacle much more heartbreaking. […] The younger writers are so self-conscious, so steeped in a certain kind of liberal education, that their characters can’t condone even their own sexual impulses; they are, in short, too cool for sex. Even the mildest display of male aggression is a sign of being overly hopeful, overly earnest or politically untoward. For a character to feel himself, even fleetingly, a conquering hero is somehow passé.
from The Naked and the Conflicted: Sex and the American Male Novelist, by Katie Roiphe. If you like her article, she’s also on the podcast.
Also in the Review this weekend- the magnificent Arthur C. Danto, on a new book about Tiepolo, the legendary Frank Kermode on a new translation of the Hebrew Bible by David Rosenberg, and the Nonfiction Chronicle is rather unkind to Daniel Nester, though I can sort of see using ” ‘He’s Annoying’ –The New York Times” as a blurb. Chuck Klosterman and Stephen Elliott don’t fare much better. Seems like the only book Gregory Beyer liked was Richard Rushfield’s memoir of attending Hampshire College in the late ’80s. Yeah.
January 2nd, 2010 / 4:28 pm