I had to interrupt what was a very busy workday to go to the bookstore and fish out the last remaining copy of Blake Bailey’s new biography of Philip Roth. First, it was almost cancelled because a bunch of officious idiots who confuse an author and his characters tried to #MeToo Roth. But Roth is dead, and it wasn’t that much fun to cancel a dead guy who had published a bunch of masterpieces on the evils of cancel culture.
So then the author of the biography was #MeTooed and cancelled. The book is being pulled out of print and the copies that were going to drop this month will not be sold. Because, apparently, readers can’t decide for themselves if they are put off reading by the personal lives of the author and his subject. I wonder, is Pushkin still sold? Because that guy’s private life. . . major eek.
The withdrawal of the book punishes the readers (and the wimpy publisher) for absolutely no reason. I don’t think anybody can make Bailey return his advance post-publication. Of course, this is his last book and he’s been completely destroyed but why is it necessary to prevent a bunch of literary nerds from geeking out on a 800-page biography of a writer? Where’s the damage in reading it? Why are the books of Michel Foucault, who actually raped boys, not pulled off the shelves?
It’s curious how people get #MeTooed right when they are about to experience some major career success. Must be a total coincidence.
In any case, I found the last copy at the bookstore and triumphantly dragged it away. Seriously, it’s the geekiest, most unobjectionable read I can think of. And it gets cancelled without anybody claiming that it has a single offensive word. This truly topped even the Dr Seuss cancellation.
We are two steps away from books being burned because the author liked the wrong tweet.