“Gossip masquerading as literary criticism”

In “The Fact in Fiction,” which appeared on Slate yesterday, Katie Roiphe argues that critics are paying too much attention to literary gossip:

People have always speculated about the autobiographical underpinnings of novels at dinner parties, but the status of this sort of thing as serious book reviewing and literary journalism has changed.

Commentary from TMFTML:

Katie “There’s No Such Thing as Date Rape” Roiphe’s touching plea for an end to “sordid literary sleuthing” ostensibly concerns the reception accorded to Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved. So it’s pretty damned impressive that Roiphe manages to refer to herself or her family, by our count, at least six times. If a more majestic display of self-involvement in under 1200 words exists, we’d love to see it.


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