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D-MINUS IS PASSING, RIGHT?
Re: Nan Platto's "Dumbbell," March 9: Gossip. A washerwoman's perspective. A despicable piece of journalism. "Hey! Let's ask strangers their opinion about a high-profile case and only use the quotes that reinforce our premise." Strictly high school journalism—a D-minus at best. Shame.
ALL THIS AND PITTSBURGH, TOO!
I wish to thank Richard Goldstein for his excellent and insightful review of the new Showtime series Queer As Folk ("Learning From Queer As Folk," March 9). It was a breath of fresh air to see he also realizes there is so much more to the series and its characters than sex. To viewers gay or straight, this series holds great interest and promise, and it's about time the American viewing audience had a chance to make up its own mind and see we're all just human after all!
GWM SEEKS FAMOUS PRIMITIVIST
For the record, I do not know for a fact that Trey Parker is gay (Rebecca Schoenkopf's "In Praise of Faux Castrati," March 9). My friends in the Hollywood film industry said he is, but I have never seen any firsthand evidence to substantiate that. Whether he is gay is irrelevant. His own sexual preference is nobody's business but his—unless he wants it to be known. I must apologize for perpetuating the rumor. That's what happens when I don't think, get drunk at an art opening, and gossip with one of my closest friends—who also happens to be an OC Weekly reporter. I should know better. Commie Girl should also know better. Outing someone through the media is just plain wrong!
On a final note: Trey, I saw you last year at the Oscars, and I must say, you look fabulous in a dress! If you are interested in a date, call me—regardless of whether you are straight, gay or none of the above!
REALLY FREAKIN' MOODY
I was dismayed, though not surprised, to read that Cornel Bonca did not find much to recommend in either Rick Moody's Demonology or Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius simply because neither blindly follows in the footsteps of the "master experimentalists" of the 1960s and '70s ("The Ineluctable Modality of the Marginal," March 16). I wasn't surprised because Bonca has made a career of extolling the virtues of those aging masters, and to embrace a fledgling tradition might be his death. I was dismayed, however, to read that "Wallace is probably the only one to find his way to shore, and that's because he's the only one who's managed to make postmodern innovation organic to his work." Wallace is certainly a capable postmodern author; unfortunately, the age of postmodernism is just as certainly drawing to a close—almost on its own steam—and authors such as Moody and Eggers (particularly Eggers, who shies away from "impressive effects," sticking to an innovative and subjective version of the truth, and who can hardly be lumped in with a group of authors who were schooled in the 1970s and '80s—at Ivy League institutions, no less) are here to ensure, much as Woolf did in the wake of Joyce, that art and literature will not die simply because the Cold War is over.
I understand a reviewer's tendency to let his background color his opinion, but to apply 40-year-old standards to contemporary fiction, apparently without even thinking, seems careless.
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via e-mail Cornel Bonca responds: That I've made a "career" of anything as lofty as extolling the virtues of aging masters is news to me, Kate, so I guess I ought to be flattered. But I'm afraid you've got me all wrong. See, I have embraced the fledgling post-postmodern tradition. But if you'd look at that "background" and "career" of mine you talk so knowingly about, you'd find that I actually like Moody and Eggers. I reviewed Purple America andA Heartbreaking Work very positively in these pages not that long ago. And to say that I don't recommend Moody'sDemonology because it doesn't "blindly follow in the footsteps" of the first generation of postmoderns is to miss the point. What I'm saying is that Moody's work suffers when he does try to imitate those guys; it's when he writes updated Updike that he's one of America's strongest young writers. I'm not trying to apply 40-year-old standards to contemporary fiction. Moody is—to his own work. And that's the problem.
THE HIGH PRICE OF SOUP
In responding to Nick Schou's "Bad Rap" (March 2), Jake Brower neglected to mention that he works in the same law office as Daryl Dworakowski, my son Joshua Moore's former defense attorney (Letters, March 9). Brower says the evidence described in Schou's article was not all the jury heard—implying that the prosecution revealed something really incriminating. I was in court every day, and I can tell you that Schou described exactly what was presented at trial. (I don't remember ever seeing Brower in the courtroom, by the way.) He stated that proving my son's innocence was an impossible task. If so, why did Dworakowski take the case? He also expressed regret that my husband and I can't come to grips with our son's actions. I have been forced to come to grips with a lot of things in the past year and a half, including the fact that my son can be knifed in prison for a soup.