Letter: Highbrow Fail

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602 S. Gay Street
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Knoxville, TN 37902

I have read many well written book reviews in Metro Pulse, but this week’s review of The Marriage Plot left a lot to be desired. [“Girlfriend Is Better” by Cari Wade Gervin and Abigail Greenbaum, Nov. 20, 2011] At the very least, Metro Pulse needs to run a correction. This review states as fact that two characters were based upon David Foster Wallace and Jeffrey Eugenides. Eugenides has stated in more than one interview that no characters in the novel are based upon real-life people. Eugenides specifically stated that the Leonard Bankhead character was not based upon David Foster Wallace in his Wall Street Journal interview in October. Please encourage future book reviewers to better research the novel they intend to review. This mistake additionally makes it very difficult to then seriously consider the “highbrow” conservation that Gervin and Greenbaum proceed to attempt. The conversation allowed me little insight concerning whether or not I would want to read the book, and instead told me that Gervin and Greenbaum are Ivy League graduates and want people to think they are very smart and well-read. The review failed on both accounts.

Anna Parker

Knoxville

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Comments » 2

Mysweetjenna writes:

Ms. Gervin has been guilty of lazy research in the past. Her editor needs to check out her work more closely in the future.

carig writes:

I did my research. I also read the book. And Eugenides is full of it when he says that Leonard isn't based on DFW. It's obvious, if you actually read the book. See this New York magazine article for more:

http://nymag.com/arts/books/features/...

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