"BAD PAPER: The Bursting of the Fiction Bubble"

read it here.

November 7, 2011


"I’d have taken a much worse evaluation from Wood than I got, if it had seemed precise and upstanding. I wanted to learn something about my work. Instead I learned about Wood."

- Jonathan Lethem's essay on being reviewed by James Wood

TM: So did you read the James Wood review up to the very end?

AH: I did. But actually, when he got to the bit when he was imagining how I might write something, it just seemed so pathetic that I stopped taking it seriously.

TM: When he did the parody of you?

AH: Yes, it’s very ill-advised to do something like that, I think. It exposes your own fear of the charge that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

- Allan Hollinghurst answers his reviewers


Steven Augustine said...


Edmond Caldwell said...

Ha! Indeed. What I notice is that even if some of the folks in the comments trash Lethem for responding to the review, nobody is really trying to make much of a case for Wood himself as a great or important critic. That's the key difference from a few years ago.

Steven Augustine said...

Isn't it? I noticed the same thing. I suppose Nigel is in hiding after... you know...