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I Love You, Let's Meet » hey, sprezzatura, cover your ass by calling ME

hey, sprezzatura, cover your ass by calling ME

“brave, brilliant and witty.” That’ll throw people off the track.

Thanks to Carolyn for this hilarious story. It’s like the scene in Annie Hall where Marshall MacLuhan turns up to shush the annoying guy pontificating about him. Except Lee Siegel didn’t just fantasize, he actually conjured up his defender and biggest fan.

And here’s more.

2 Comments so far

  1. karen on September 7th, 2006

    I can say with 99.999999% certainty that “JohnG” is aVirginia alias.

  2. virginia on September 8th, 2006

    It’s true! And then I use my “Karen” disguise to “bust” “myself,” further throwing everyone off track. Mwaaaa-haaaaa-haaaaaaa-haaaaaa.

    Kenneth sent this along under the subject line “pathetic”:

    > From jhschwartz, at Lee Siegel’s blog, 8/27/06:

    “Siegel’s attraction to writing is particularly unsuited to blogging, and his bad motives have caught up with him. From all I’ve read of Siegel, he seems to have come to writing, as so many writers have, because of the temptations of power. He is attracted to the authority of the word and the page. The page, for him, was a place to remake himself, steel himself in well-wrought phrases, fix his own wavering, groping, tentative mind. This is a temptation for many of our class (and for me as well) -– with a little education, a feel for the rhythms and sinews of a good sentence, and a generous editor, we can hold the attention (we dream) of the masses, achieve authority unknown (we believe) by even the rich or the beautiful. He may even have almost succeeded in persuading himself that as a critic he was especially penetrating, or intelligent, or worthwhile.
    And here comes a technological shift that robs him not only of his treasured page, but also of the kind of authority that the old medium promised. For blogs are a place for the wavering, the groping, the tentative. The blogger steps down from the Olympian platform of the “critic” and shares his uncertainties, his confusions, his stabs at sense, with a community of equals. The best blogs involve a wonderful give-and-take between the author and his community of readers -– addenda, corrections, re-thinkings, admissions…”

    And then Siegel answers with some of the batshit crazy taunts you can read in the Observer piece.

    The critic’s job is to eviscerate, so it makes sense that Siegel would turn his “weapon” on his criticizer. Most of me thinks (in my groping, unsure way) that schwartz maybe ought to get his own blog/column/book and explore the uses, power, motivations of writing that way, but part of me thinks he’s got a point. Instead of being suspended from his job, the New Republic ought to make Siegel (and maybe jschwartz) write on the blackboard 100 times this by Eudora Welty about why she wrote:

    “My wish, indeed my continuing passion, would be to part a curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between people, the veil of indifference to each other’s presence, each other’s wonder, each other’s human plight.”