My thoughts on the Jody Bottum contorversy

Last time I read 6,000 words at sitting, they were written by Herman Melville.

That is all.

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  • Ann Margaret Lewis

    Oh my gosh…I’m crying over here. Here I am planning my High School American Lit classes for the year, took a sip of water, read this, and about snorted water out my nose.

  • OldWorldSwine

    A commenter at Mark Shea’s says it’s actually over 9000 words. Mark was estimating rather charitably, if that’s the case.

    • Dale

      Every professional writer needs an editor. The later works of Anne Rice illustrate the point, although its wisdom was already well-known.

  • CS

    I met Jody Bottum once, and he was absolutely perplexed by my earnest, enthusiastic gratitude for the magazine he edited then (First Things, of course). Perplexed almost to the point of vagueness…I can see exactly how he can be completely unable to discern sexual orientation, as he says of himself in the essay. But it amazes me that anyone could call the man “vapid” as someone did in the comments. He is a poetic thinker. Reading about, and then hearing him speak further, on his thoughts on *memorials* alone changed my way of conceptualizing human obligation and memory…and how to think in public. I can’t wait to re-read that essay when the kids have made it off to school and I am influenced by slightly less beer.

    • Josh

      I think “poetic thinker” is well put. Case in point: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/01/002-when-the-swallows-come-back-to-capistrano-catholic-culture-in-america-40

      His style is poetic. Meandering, maybe. Meditative. Certainly not deserving of the flip dismissal it received at the hands of He Who Capitalizes Ironically. The guy’s wrong about SSM. Doesn’t mean he’s a crap writer. The piece I linked is 11,500 words, so it may take upwards of 20, 25 minutes to read. I love that the internet tells us “6,000 words. sooooo long! Ohmergersh. TLDNR.” (That being said, I did like Simcha’s joke about it.)

      And kudos for getting buzzed before the kids have even left for school. There is a courage in that I can appreciate.

  • richard

    I used to read him when he was with First Things.

  • D Minor

    Praise be. A common sense response at last. I got thru the first 5 paras or so, realized he wasn’t going anywhere fast with his argument, scrolled down to see how much was left, and gave up after about a minute of that. Life is too short. Too bad Commonweal’s editor didn’t feel the same way. –Mrs. D.

  • Jess Cathofeminism

    The last time I was able to read that many words in one sitting was DEFINITELY before kids.


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