Slate and Salon

It occurs to me that the people who write literature pieces for Slate and Salon actually know better than one might guess by what tends to get said in their pieces, but have to write toward the audience.

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If so, why can’t they write above that mark and bring their audiences with them?

Not the audience, proper, so much as the editors and what the editors understand to be the desires and capacities of the audience — rightly or not.
There are always various assumptions embedded in a house style. With Slate, there is a strong emphasis on what they call “making an argument.” This boils down to being contrarian in some way. There is seldom much more to it than that.

I just happened to be looking at this review by Judith Shulevitz in Slate, and it stands up pretty well. But then she’s not there any longer.

Oh that just makes those sites so sad.


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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