Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Begging to differ …

Wait, Haven’t I Heard This One Before? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The underlying argument of Batuman’s didactic, semi-memoirish production is that because the narrator is forced to read canonical works by men who told stories about women they invented, this book’s mere existence should place its author up with the greats. 

I wonder if the narrator has read  Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary, the characters of which — both women and men — I recall as being wondrously vivid.

Reading Either/Or felt like reading a politician’s memoir, where the name of the game is to list achievements that readers will agree are worthy and admirable and to deny any evidence of wrongdoing and wrong-think. 

I can’t help pointing out that the author of this review, in his lead sentence, makes plain he accepts the new rules about the pronoun they.

I don’t. Oh, and it’s A Fan’s Notes.

By the way, my crankiness notwithstanding, the review seems pretty much spot-on. 

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