August 9, 2013

"I may yet get married — statistically 90% of people get married at some point."

"But I would say that love and craziness has overwhelmed my life, and I am trying to write about it, and at the same time tell the story of New York City from 1609 to the present."

So writes Elizabeth Wurtzel, as quoted and diminished by Amanda Hess. Wurtzel writes about herself — and whatever else goes into the old talking-about-me grinder, like, apparently, the history of NYC — and Hess asserts "Wurtzel’s work has veered, Cat Marnell style, into the realm of self-help," then critiques Wurtzel for not giving good self-help. Is that fair? Maybe I haven't read enough Wurzel — here's here Reddit "Ask Me Anything" — but what I hear her saying is: I'm the wild bohemian, this is something I am deep in my soul and you are not and can never be, and therefore I am the writer and you are the ones who must read me, read me, read me.

Speaking of self-help, I wish I could help myself not to Google "Cat Marnell."

10 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm not exactly a romantic, but I'm really starting to wonder what's up with everyone picking on the idea of marriage lately. Ace's website has a piece about it; you see it more and more about men opting out of marriage. Has the last few years really been that much of a demystification of marriage that people are starting to not think it is the bee's knees?

Why does one need to be nuts to be happy while also not married?

William said...

It's a clinical fact that schizophrenics have more intense sex lives, but that intensity is not much help in building a stable relationship.......It would take a brave man to commit to Elizabeth. Not because of the craziness but because you would just know that she's taking notes and that after the relationship goes sour you and all your deficits will be immortalized in next year's memoir.

elkh1 said...

"I may yet get married..."

Quite an assumption that someone will marry her.

cubanbob said...

When she was young she was very good looking. Men will go for young and crazy as long as its good looking. Middle-age, not so much.

Ann Althouse said...

"When she was young she was very good looking. Men will go for young and crazy as long as its good looking. Middle-age, not so much."

There is always someone who loves what you've got. The ruined, dissolute beauty is very romantic. She's super smart, artistic, and game. A rich man with artistic longing and a need for excitement... Something like that.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I have to say that the image on her Wikipedia page is about as unflattering as it could well be. Said page also credits her with a "combined SAT score" of 160, which of course isn't possible.

I thought she was the young, hip, ever-so-cool writer who had compared the sight of one of the Twin Towers falling to pulling a sweater over one's head, but I'm not finding the reference now. It could always have been Naomi Wolf.

slumber_j said...

"'There is always someone who loves what you've got."

Having (involuntarily and for a variety of reasons) spent a certain amount of time around Liz Wurtzel off and on over the last 26 years or so, it's really hard for me to believe that's true of her. Her craziness strikes me as deeply irritating and slightly sinister--not romantic.

And she certainly has never come across as super-smart, and she's not even good at being cunning, which is mostly what she seems to be trying to get up to. She wasn't even good at plagiarism.

Martha said...

I think it was Wurtzel's LSAT score that was 160.

Somehow that LSAT was good enough to get her in to Yale Law School.

Ann Althouse said...

The key in the rankings is the median, so once you are sub-median, and that's probably sub-median for the whole top tier, then it's other things that account for admission. In her case, the LSAT was high enough not to worry that she couldn't do the work, and she had her writing career to make her a potentially interesting person to have around.

cubanbob said...

"There is always someone who loves what you've got. The ruined, dissolute beauty is very romantic. She's super smart, artistic, and game. A rich man with artistic longing and a need for excitement... Something like that."

Yes you can say there is a lid for every pot. That said, the lid you are referring to would probably be a healthy, wealthy 15 to 20 year older lid who will insist on a very strong pre-nup. Romance tempered with reality.