Shorthand Revealed

Pete points out that the litblogs have retained inveterate acronyms for literary folks. I couldn’t agree more with his concerns, particularly when these acronyms often refer to multiple people. In an effort to address this growing concern, here’s a short but by no means comprehensive list:

AL: An author who wins too many awards.

DFW: Any author who has read too much Nabokov. Alternatively loved or hated by the litblog community, depending upon how personally they take footnotes.

E—–: He who shall not be named.

Hitch: Any Fleet Street blowhard who drinks and smokes too much.

Hot Lips: Sam Lipsyte, the somewhat sctaological though entertaining author of Home Land. Earned nickname after repeated brown-nosing by the Believer and Gawker people. Often kisses and tells.

J-Franz: An obscure French author who sometimes finds his way onto book covers. A master of disguise, appearing as either ultimate dork or A-1 hunk. Therapy financed by David Remnick.

JSF: Not specifically pertaining to Jonathan Safran Foer, but any overeager author who sends hundreds of emails to a journalist.

Mary-Rob: A writer who can’t stop writing in epistolary form.

Mitch: Not David Mitchell, but any deity worshipped by literary fanboys.

Roth, David Lee: Any older writer held in critical esteem who can’t stop writing about penises.

Woodman: A filmmaker in decline who enjoys women one sixth his age.


  1. Might I also propose author “J-Leth,” geek-chic writer who can (and indeed MUST!) relate any human transaction to his record collection, usu. by playing “Six Degrees of Brian Eno.”

  2. Here’s one:

    D. Peck–any writer who could not garner acclaim through his/her novels and found substitute adulation after becoming the hatchet person for a “scummy little books section”

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