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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Charles McGrath, Veteran Literary Parasite

One wrote (hard copy letter, c/o the Atlantic) to this eminent man of letters some months ago, this veteran literary critic and long-time parasite on the leading authors of our time, a person for more than a few years associated with the New York Times Book Review in one capacity or other, an insightful individual worthy of unlimited respect and enjoying a prominent position on the U.$. literati ladder, and--he never answered. The man never answered! I had written him in response to a review of an Edward St. Aubyn novel he wrote for the Atlantic, pointing out a flaw, by St. Aubryn, in a sentence McGath quoted, and correcting it, improving the sentence a good deal, and mentioning in passing that I had recently completed the rewrite of an unpublished novel myself, enclosing an SASE--and he didn't bother to respond! The insolence! Why not throw a junkyard dog a bone to keep it from starving? But no. No bone. Nothing. Silence. Doesn't he know who I am?

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