After the reading at HalfKing last night–my thanks and appreciation to everyone there for their generosity and bonhomie–I heard about the scandal that had burst in the literary world that day with the force of a warblogger’s bladder.
The Smoking Gun’s detailed expose of James Frey’s harrowing memoir A Million Little Pieces.
This and the J.T. Leroy put-on call into question not only the caliber of the literary-critical-publishing world’s bullshit detector but the desire of so many to accept as gospel and marrow truth that which is outre, transgressive, and self-promoting. Fashion yourself as “a survivor,” and voyeuristic readers will feel the excitement of a dangerous voyage with so many valuable lessons to be learned along the way. As Joy Press wrote in the Village Voice on the occasion of Leroy’s The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, “LeRoy’s books call like sirens to emotional tourists looking to vacation in someone else’s torment. Abuse, gender confusion, abandonment, prostitution, addiction—all the sensationalistic obsessions of our era, wrapped in one neat adolescent package.”