Re: Liesl Schillinger (hereinafter referred to as “Floozyl”), what Mark said, but with one major difference. The blogger who allegedly “grumbled” actually had a more dimensional take than what Floozyl imputed. Observe the final paragraph from Sarah’s post:
(Btw, for the humor-impaired, it’s not that I am mocking Ms. Pessl’s appearance or writing ability, just the publishing world’s almost masochistic desire to let attractive packages, so to speak, dictate their buying guidelines — even if the prospect of earning out is rather limited, to say the least.)
Further, Jessa Crispin penned her piece not on her blog, but in an article for the Book Standard. Meaning that it was a bona-fide piece of journalism that just happened to be available online, but that it was not part of the Bookslut empire. It’s idiotic enough to paraphrase an opinion based on a headline, but in this case it does a disservice to the blogger in question, who was functioning as a journalist. Further, it is quite likely that a copy editor penned the headline, not Jessa.
So beyond Floozyl being inaccurate, bafflingly combative towards litbloggers, and as perspicacious in her thinking as Dick Cheney handling a shotgun, Floozyl’s reading comprehension skills and ability to contextualize are more amateurish than a raccoon-eyed undergraduate with a bad case of the munchies trying to figure out how to divagate through the stacks.* If an entire team of fact-checkers and copy editors at the world’s allegedly foremost newspaper is this lazy, this petty, and this rushed, then Sammy T and the team are truly silly individuals who don’t even have the basic bonhomie to realize that the relationship between litbloggers and mainstream sources is two-way and symbiotic, that we have much to learn from each other, and that there is no autocratic cultural gatekeeper here, there, or anywhere. Particularly when Tanenhaus fails on a weekly basis to realize that there are books that go beyond bloated biographies of ponderous intellectuals and the collected works of John Updike.
Here are some questions to Sammy T and Floozyl: Are you really that oversensitive? Are you really having sleepless nights thinking about literary enthusiasts who have the temerity to express their passions in their spare time?
Sammy, Floozyl: Grow a spine, for fuck’s sake. Hell, maybe some humility on your end might help. After all, there’s room in the literary world for everyone.
* Hey, if Floozyl’s going to give us unpardonable run-ons, I’m going to mix my fucking metaphors.
[UPDATE: Ron has more.]