Sometimes Publicity Involves Making Stuff Up

GalleyCat has excerpts from a piece of hype by a literary agent making the rounds that includes the following bit:

"In 1962, John Barth pronounced the death of the novel. In 1967, Tom Wolfe proclaimed the death of journalism. In the past two years, critic Slavoj Zizek and author James Frey have shaken the status of the memoir. So [redacted] transcends, offering a marriage of form and content that alone is able to tell an American True Story." this mostly bullshit, or total bullshit? I have not read everything that Zizek has published -- that would Adam Kotsko you're thinking of, there -- but do sort of manage of stay on top of things, and recall nothing like a memoir by him, let alone one that's "shaken the status" of the genre.

Gayatri Spivak is writing her memoirs, however, according to an interview she gave not long ago. Somebody tell the booker for Oprah. I would watch that. Zizek on Oprah would be even better.

UPDATE: Ron Hogan notes in a followup at GalleyCat that the date for the Barth essay is off by five years. As for Tom Wolfe proclaiming the "death of journalism" in 1967, it seems that our author's muddled agent/poseur has someone combined a dim recollection of his role in the New Journalism during the 1960s and '70s with his gripes from the '80s and '90s about the lack of social texture in the contemporary novel.

The question "mostly bullshit or total bullshit?" now seems to be answered.

November 21, 2007 7:00 AM | | Comments (4)



Total. Probably Zizek! film in mind. Off by 5 yrs on Barth supposed epitaph. Unredact and shake the status of the literary agent!

I thought it might refer to the documentary -- something I wrote about before it was released -- but that definitely is not a memoir.

The names of the author and agent were redacted by GalleyCat. The details will get out sooner or later, of course.

Of course, all that information I posted in my update is stuff I got or expanded upon from what's been written here!

Sorry, it seems my brain just took a little nap there for a bit....

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