Monday, April 25, 2005

Fawning Over Bellow

April 25 The New Republic.

How does one become an establishment lit-critic? Maybe by groveling to the established literary gods. James Wood proves he can grovel with the best of them.

Listen to the man gush:
"--he made even the fleet-footed-- the Updikes, the DeLillos, the Roths-- seem like monopodes." (This makes sense only if you have a high opinion of these three authors as stylists. I don't. One is overblown flatulence; one is lifeless cardboard; one is ordinary.)

Wood applauds the alleged "high lyricism" of Bellow's prose.
"How, exactly, does one thank a writer for this?"

Wood gives a personal note. (Here comes the groveling.)
"Over the years, I wrote about him again and again and visited him whenever I could. . . ."
"My daughter played with his . . . I accompanied him on the piano while he played the recorder . . . and to laugh with him when he was making a joke." "--'ha,ha,ha,ha,' each laugh separately articulated." (Exactly how many ways can one suck-up? James Wood gives them all. I highly recommend his article for ambitious demi-puppets.)

At the end of the piece we can only conclude that Saul Bellow was the greatest novelist ever. Unmentioned is the fact that he was the leading icon of American fiction at a time of American literature's steep decline. No connection is considered or allowed. All that matters is the critic's sterling relationship with the author: "--he was grateful for this, and perhaps grateful for my gratitude."

Now we know. Who's responsible for Bellow's overblown reputation? THERE'S the guy: James Wood, sycophantic lit-critic at New Republic.

Let's view what a videocam recorded of one of the historic meetings between critic Wood and cherished author Saul Bellow. Bellow is the old guy slowly entering the room, Wood the person crawling swiftly on all fours to meet him.

The Groveler of Grovelers. No one can top him. Sven Birkerts, look out! Here comes James Wood scampering across the rug.

12 comments:

Noah Cicero said...

Where have all the demi-bitches gone? you all too scared to come back after Academic VS. Poetry. Not one of you admitted that you have said if you call the EPA and tell them they are just jealous.
Or the fucktards who said exotic dancers shouldn't determine the future of literature even though Kathy Acker was an exotic dancer and she created her own genre of writing.
But you know who I miss most. I miss Ezekiel Brutus, that fucktard that played off my name. Probably is that Jonah Crassus loser that said people with a half a penny can pick themselves up by their bootstraps.
Where you at Ezekiel Brutus, you done with your genius mocking. Your lack of originality and innovation.
Bam Bam the Shakespearian superstar who disproved his own point with a fact HE presented. Where you at?
All nameless toads, can't think, terrified of reality, hiding under bought titles from the masses.
You're all a fucking joke: Why the demi-puppet cross the road? Because Ricky Moody told him to.

Anonymous said...

The ignorance here is staggering. James Wood is about as "sycophantic" as a Panzer division. Remember his essay on Zadie Smith and "hysterical realism"? Or his review of DeLillo's "Cosmopolis"? Do your research and don't assume everyone fits your script, or you'll continue to embarrass yourself like you just did.

AZ said...

This was definitely the most positive essay of Wood's that I've ever seen, but I think his opinions are a bit colored by his personal experiences with Bellow. And he probably liked Bellow's prose, too. It was more of a recollection of a beloved mentor than just a critical rundown of a recently deceased's body of work. But what would Wolcott have said?

Anonymous said...

Agreed about James Wood. His article on hysterical realism took the wind out of Wallace's bandana. I think this site has a lot of healthy anger, and that's why it's frustrating to me when you guys attack people who are ostensibly on your side. You have some extremely solid points: the grants, the fact that people like Eggers dismiss you rather than taking you on (His "crazy people" comment was very revealing of his own closed, ratty nature, and I would argue extreme lack of open-mindedness and creativity); your attacks on Bissell who said that "George Bush and Noam Chomsky are similar in thought (while I don't always agree with Chomsky and hate his cult-like followers, comparing him to Bush was the kind of typical pomo hyper-generalization that halts any real action on the part of the left[Ben and Jerry's ice cream protest of Alaskan oil drilling comes to mind]). I know that you have different ideas of how to fight this establishment that really needs a good ass-whooping, so perhaps we just don't get along on that point. That said, all of the screaming and name calling, as posted above, feels to me that you don't really plan to ever have any power at all. Although, considering the treatment that Alan Cordle of foetry has received (NPR didn't even call him when they did a piece on his own site, nor did they inform him) perhaps being more volatile is in order. I just wish and hope that you'd build more alliances instead of screaming at people or making attacks on those who side with you aesthetically. Working your way in would make the Moodys and the Eggerses of the literary establishment get ants in their pants, they'd start seriously acting up and showing their true nature.

V.O.?

Anonymous said...

Agreed about James Wood. His article on hysterical realism took the wind out of Wallace's bandana. I think this site has a lot of healthy anger, and that's why it's frustrating to me when you guys attack people who are ostensibly on your side. You have some extremely solid points: the grants, the fact that people like Eggers dismiss you rather than taking you on (His "crazy people" comment was very revealing of his own closed, ratty nature, and I would argue extreme lack of open-mindedness and creativity); your attacks on Bissell who said that "George Bush and Noam Chomsky are similar in thought (while I don't always agree with Chomsky and hate his cult-like followers, comparing him to Bush was the kind of typical pomo hyper-generalization that halts any real action on the part of the left[Ben and Jerry's ice cream protest of Alaskan oil drilling comes to mind]). I know that you have different ideas of how to fight this establishment that really needs a good ass-whooping, so perhaps we just don't get along on that point. That said, all of the screaming and name calling, as posted above, feels to me that you don't really plan to ever have any power at all. Although, considering the treatment that Alan Cordle of foetry has received (NPR didn't even call him when they did a piece on his own site, nor did they inform him) perhaps being more volatile is in order. I just wish and hope that you'd build more alliances instead of screaming at people or making attacks on those who side with you aesthetically. Working your way in would make the Moodys and the Eggerses of the literary establishment get ants in their pants, they'd start seriously acting up and showing their true nature.

V.O.?

Tim Hall said...

Anon (V.O.?) - tho I'm trying to make it a point not to respond to any anonymice on this thread, you make some very good points:

"considering the treatment that Alan Cordle of foetry has received (NPR didn't even call him when they did a piece on his own site, nor did they inform him) perhaps being more volatile is in order."

Bingo. To the demi-puppets and their handlers, IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO TALK TO THE PEOPLE MAKING NOISE. They have already convinced themselves that we are "crazy" (eg, Eggers's pathetic slander)...the meme among such cowards is: "they're crazy...but maybe they have a point...however, since they are crazy, we can steal their points without actually acknowledging their existence...because they are crazy!)

These scumbags constantly call us "crazy", online, in print, and at their cocktail parties, while hedging that yes, mayhap we DO have a point, however and thus forth and so on, it's just such a SHAME that such CRAZY PEOPLE are making these (valid) points to begin with!

See? The demi-puppet world is a culture of co-option, where they feel by their own holy PC agenda it's OK to ignore the change agents because they "hurt somebody's feelings" and "are crazy."

VO: "I just wish and hope that you'd build more alliances instead of screaming at people or making attacks on those who side with you aesthetically."

See above.

VO: "Working your way in would make the Moodys and the Eggerses of the literary establishment get ants in their pants, they'd start seriously acting up and showing their true nature."

Um, no offense, but if you're still waiting for the aforementioned to actually show their natures, then maybe YOU'RE the crazy one!

lol.

Anonymous said...

Bellow was a hell of a writer, they don't make many like him anymore. Most of these new kids leaves me cold, I can't see spending the time to read them. Maybe I'm just an Old Fart...

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll agree with that one. Even David Sedaris says that Eggers is a bullying A-hole, and Moody doesn't make himself look much better either.

V.O.

Orlando Hotpockets said...

Anonymous thinks that Kink Wineglass has embarrassed himself by revealing how ignorant he is of Wood's work.

Don't be silly. You have to possess some self respect to feel that way. And I mean come on, look at this crap.....

Orlando Hotpockets said...

I have read many things about Bellow but this is the stupidest. Congratulations, Kink, you set a new record!

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