Not surprisingly, people still have lots to say, whether on blogs, in newspaper articles or by email about L’Affaire Frey.
Alison Pace, author of IF ANDY WARHOL HAD A GIRLFRIEND, got tired of watching after a while: “as I sat watching Frey looking very much like a kicked puppy, I just didn’t want to hear it anymore. I thought Oprah was cruel to him and the fact that later she tied it up in a “now, James, you’ll grow,” bow doesn’t really make that okay. I watched but I thought the whole charade of trotting out a cowed Frey to sit amongst those who had condemned him was less about anything else than it was about benefiting Oprah and aiding her in some face-saving from her earlier faux pas of implying truth didnt matter.”
The paperback edition of John Falk’s HELLO TO ALL THAT is uncomfortably proclaimed to be “in the tradition of A MILLION LITTLE PIECES” and he explores this in an essay at Beatrice.com (which, of course, is my co-Galleycatter’s main site): “memoirs are not official history. They are not even official biographies because if a fact or event isn’t relevant to the story structure, it doesn’t belong in a memoir. It is these omissions and the imposition of a literary style that makes memoirs entertaining reading but imperfect records. Who the hell can remember dialogue verbatim from when they were five? However, at the end of the day, if you’re cooking the facts, you’re undermining your story. If you’re not aiming for the truth, you’re undermining the initial reason you first put pen to paper, that initial inspiration that you had something important, compelling to say.”
Deanna Stillman, in a recent entry on the Huffington Post, isn’t buying any of this blase attitude: “Instead of casting Frey as some sort of Abu Ghraib-like loose cannon, his publisher and agent should explain their role in this mischagas. But until that happens, well, to paraphrase the tattoo on Frey’s arm – “Fuck the bullshit, it’s time to throw up.”
And casting an eye around the major newspapers, the LAT’s Tim Rutten, the Boston Globe’s David Mehegan and about half the available space of the NYT’s arts section (what with an interview with “anti-Frey” Martha Sherrill, David Carr’s treatise on truthiness and Sara Ivry’s look at how this benefits Court TV) devoted their energies to Frey-related materials.