I so rarely get a chance to use “size queens” in relation to NYTBR

Posted by Lizzie on 08/31/10

Make of it what you will, but the Twitter-born fracas over Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom proves one thing without a doubt: the American literary establishment are size queens.

Their collective pulse races at the sight of muscular doorstopper filled with realism. (Especially following a ten-year dry spell.) They can’t agree on large sales versus long shelf life. They’re critical heavy-breathers: witness New York Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus fervently laud Freedom’s “capacious but intricately ordered narrative that in its majestic sweep seems to gather up every fresh datum of our shared millennial life.”

Wherein I speak of “Freedom” at The Daily Beast.

Filed under: Lit-ish |


  1. Why is it that journalists who cover literature refuse to mention relevant stories involving corruption in the lit world? Case in point is that not one of the many articles about Franzen and his new Big Book have mentioned his ill-gotten NEA grant in 2002. Everyone’s mentioned Franzen’s overblown dispute with Oprah, a media event solely, yet not an example of real world corruption. Care to investigate the facts of the matter?
    I hate to be a continual whistleblower, but writers who exist at the bottom of society don’t stand a chance when the Hogs of Literature grab everything for themselves. Thank you.

    Comment by Karl Wenclas — 9/16/2010 @ 2:45 pm

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