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Chick Lit, 9/11, and WTF

Yes more on the chick lit/This is Not Chick Lit drama. By Lauren Baratz-Logsted, editor of forthcoming This is Chick Lit, by way of Beatrice.com:

Where do these women get off naming themselves "America's Best Women Writers"? Was there an election where they failed to notify most of us? As the old Monty Python and the Holy Grail skit goes, "Well, I didn't vote for you!" Sincerely said, some of the writers in this collection have produced work I've greatly admired, yet I find this self-declaration to be--hmm...what's the word here?-- hubristic. It's the kind of claim that, as a former reviewer, I can honestly say gets reviewers sharpening their knives even before they've cracked the spine on the book. Those better be some great stories. I mean, they better be the best.

For a long time, I fought the good fight. I stayed above the literary v. commercial fray, insisting that there were really only two kinds of books: good/well-written books and bad/poorly written books. I still stand by that. But I'm tired of getting bitch-slapped every time I turn around. I'm tired of women pitting themselves against other women, of needing to make "The Other Side" somehow less than in the hopes of causing themselves to be perceived as being somehow greater. (Parenthetically, there is a problem in the world of novels that I never hear anyone else talking about, that being that there are a whole slew of novels that slither into the designation of being literary--accruing automatic respect--merely by being nongenre.)


I loved that part. It made me happy. Then the author gets on this inexplicable thing about how we NEED entertainment because of 9/11.

In a world where, on the most killingly beautiful September morning in memory, the two largest buildings in New York City both crumpled to the earth within 102 minutes after being attacked, I don't think anyone should have to apologize for providing readers with a reliable form of entertainment.

WTF? I'm sorry, I didn't say that loud enough. WTF?! Y'know what we need after 9/11? To get over 9/11. Stop masturbating to Oliver Stone movies and Court TV, stop freaking out about hair products on planes, and then go do something productive WITHOUT adding a pseudo-virtuous political impetus to it. Please.

Btw, I'm probably going to end up reading both books eventually. From the library. I am still bemused but this drama, but I really wish someone besides me would call people on their stupidity.

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