Mark McGurl

Six Items of Interest

Jennifer Egan commented on the reaction to her comments during a WSJ interview where she implied that certain books were “derivative, banal stuff”. I thought her response was fantastic:

It was, she said, exactly the kind of thoughtlessly casual remark that, with her journalistic background, she should have known better than to say in conversation with a reporter—but which may now linger on the Internet and continue to be seen as her position on the subject. “I have nothing to defend in what I said,” she said. “I really wish I hadn’t said that, and was incredibly and immediately sorry that anyone was hurt by it. I don’t blame anyone for being mad about it.” Though she does believe there’s an interesting conversation to be had about genre and gender and literary culture, she doesn’t see her comments in that interview as any kind of effective contribution to that discussion. “I’m all for criticizing; I’m not saying that no one should ever criticize anyone else,” she continued. “But if you’re going to criticize, you should do it intentionally and thoughtfully and carefully and know whom you’re criticizing and for what. And I didn’t meet any of those criteria.” (Thanks for the link, Cathy Day.)


Roundup / 10 Comments
May 12th, 2011 / 2:00 pm