paper trail

Lauren Michele Jackson discusses criticism, theory, and style; Charlotte Shane on “failure to protect” laws

Lauren Michele Jackson. Northwestern University

At Gawker, Tarpley Hitt writes about the decision by New York magazine and Elizabeth Weil to anonymize her cover feature “Canceled at 17” and not to disclose that one of Weil’s children attended the school the story is about. Hitt argues that the latter choice distorted the story; had Weil’s connection to the school been revealed, “It would have also revealed the piece for what it was: a personal, and by extension, particular, story—not, as it purported to be, a sweeping parable of the times. That tension presents an inherent flaw in the assignment. In omitting the relationship, New York contorted their material to make a tidy allegory about cancel culture.”

In the twelfth and final installment of The Point’s “Criticism in Public” conversation series, Jessica Swoboda interviews New Yorker contributing writer Lauren Michele Jackson. Discussing her affection for theory, Jackson notes: “The thing about theory is that you can go on this journey with somebody and at the end decide that you disagree with them, and that’s fine. Nobody died. It’s okay. I’m not teaching heart surgery here. We’re trying things out with words, and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but the enjoyment is in the trying.”

The 5-4 podcast has released an emergency episode to discuss the ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. 

At the London Review of Books blog, Charlotte Shane writes about “failure to protect” laws and how the American judicial system punishes women who speak out about abuse: “The legal system in the US, as elsewhere, is less likely to offer women legal redress than to injure them further.”

For The Nation, Ryan Ruby writes about French writer Pierre Senges, whose latest book, Ahab (Sequels), features a Captain Ahab who survives his encounter with the white whale and moves to New York City and then Hollywood.