June 30, 2012

"The occasional banality of the conversations is a deliberate challenge, not least to the notion of banality itself."

Key sentence from an article written by a woman about how men can't understand some book written by a woman.

34 comments:

Jason (the commenter) said...

This is a very good book review.

When I read a review I want to learn quickly if the book in question is one I want to spend my time reading. I was able to do a little skimming and tell pretty quickly that whatever the writer was talking about, I wanted no part of.

Scott said...

Are you sure that's "being a woman" and not ADD?

Quaestor said...

Michelle Dean disqualified herself as a writer by putting you within superfluous quotation marks, so the rest of her commentary is essentially a non-writer's reflection on another non-writer's travails at the hands of the publishing industry. Too many real writers are ignored by the trade, so until they are published and read the fate of the evident crap produced by Ms. Heti doesn't interest me much.

Or maybe this is a story about how feminism turns women into indiscriminate philistines?

ampersand said...

Was that a vagina monologue?

edutcher said...

Sounds like Ms Dean may not understand men.

Men have been reading books written by women since the Bronte sisters.

I think we get it.

I mean, I had no problems with "The Scarlet Pumpernickel".

cubanbob said...

Some people enjoy bullshit, others don't. Its a matter of personal taste. God bless America. There is a market for everything.

ed said...

"I mean, I had no problems with "The Scarlet Pumpernickel"."

I think that's "Pimpernel".

Or perhaps "Pimpmobile". Depending on context.

Old Dad said...

I can't comment on the novel, but this review is pretentious bullshit.

Rabel said...

"I can't comment on the novel, but this review is pretentious bullshit."

Deliberately so. It's marketing. To a target audience.

Michael K said...

God ! I read novels all the time but they have a plot and something to interest the reader. Steven Pressfield, for example, is always interesting although dickheads sometimes write negative reviews. Navel gazing is rarely in vogue and not for men.

tim in vermont said...

Whatever. I always figured that the fact that lots of women didn't like Hemingway validated it, in a way.

So it doesn't bother me if I don't get what some woman writes for other women.

wv: Time Spa sounds like a sci fi novel.

bagoh20 said...

I refuse to look up the definition of banality... again.

Joe said...

Ah; this book isn't shit, it's challenging!

Penny said...

"Slate"?

The kids that used to slap the erasers together to make sure they could see what was on you the next day?

They're either dead or nearly so.

WTF?

Why would an up-to-date, in-the-know, internet news site call itself "SLATE"?

Penny said...

I wonder if they are trying to position themselves in the hysterical historical niche?

Penny said...

I can see that working.

Except for the "hysterical" part.

Penny said...

We have a "War on Women" in the US of A!

That's just gonna piss off the ladies who "know" their roots.

Astro said...

From the Amazon website:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,693 in Books

Ranked #497,693? This is the book about which Michelle Dean says 'young women flock to it'?

I'm calling bullshit on that.

No doubt there are some intellectualoid women out there - intellectual posers - that 'find' something meaningful in the book. These are women whose attitudes are predictable and tiresome.

Mary Beth said...

"The Scarlet Pumpernickel" aka "The Red Bread"?

Paddy O said...

Banality knows nothing higher than itself...

Michael K said...

"I always figured that the fact that lots of women didn't like Hemingway validated it, in a way."

Not only have I read everything he's written but I have a book on his life in Paris and have found all his locations in that city. I haven't been to Pamplona, where "The Sun Also Rises" occurred but my kids have.

beast said...

When asked why publishing is in trouble I point to pretentious criticism, vampire novels, and vanity authors.This book has two out of three.

Kirk Parker said...

Paging rhh...

Zach said...

Interesting that "banality" would come up so naturally in a discussion of a novel. Normally they're opposites, aren't they?

A good rule for life is never to read a novel about people or events that are less interesting that what you personally would be doing if you weren't busy reading a novel.

Penny said...

"Banality knows nothing higher than itself".

Sheesh, so says new dad, Paddy O!

Aww, you're scared.

Give it a break, mister. Your kid hasn't a clue what "banality" means and, even when he does?

He's always going to be MOST impressed with just how BIG his dad was when he was supposed to be.

Penny said...

I mean, not your kid, Paddy, but I know BIG when I see it. ;)

Peter said...

As a typical male consumer of Great Literature, I can say that I had no trouble appreciating "The Scarlet Pumpernickel" either.

Here it is, for both sexes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ9Pu83swMs&t=0m18s

Astro said...

You can use html editing tags for links.
Type "<" then "a href=" followed by the URL of the item you want to link, and then follow that with ">" then type the name of the link, and follow that with "<" and "/a>". (But leave out the quote symbols, of course.)

As in:
The Scarlet Pumpernickel

Carnifex said...

Was the Scarlet Pumpernickel a Seinfeld episode...No! my bad, it was the Marble Rye.aka Catcher in the Marble Rye.

The Red Bread was a movie starring ...dammit, that guy from Shampoo...Warren Beatty!!(had to do a six degrees thing...Bread Deliverence Truck, squeel like a pig, Ned Beatty, Warren Beatty)

The Pit and the Pumpernickel was a grade B movie with Vincent Price, who was a gourmand.

And Pump Her Nickolas was a grade C porno by the ol' hedgehog hisself.

That concludes todays movie trivia made up shit.

Carnifex said...

Ps

I'll stick to Kipling

Tommy

ken in sc said...

I read someone who wrote that women are just children who are old enough to have sex. Men have to prove themselves. Women don't have to do anything, just be there. Banality does not matter.

leslyn said...

You mean the title of this post was about a book? How anticlimactic.

leslyn said...

"the banality of evil" = ken in sc.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Zach - That's a great line and principle. Let me know where to send the royalty checks.