Lucy Silag On Not Gossiping in Salon (Psst: Jane Smiley’s Kid)


Salon offers a rather flat little piece about gossiping by Lucy Silag and how she gave it up. She poses the question:

Which is worse? I asked myself. To be boring or to be catty? And we all know the answer to that one.

She manages to be both. And the weird part is that her mother, novelist Jane Smlley, encouraged gossiping, saying

it makes you feel like part of a community, and less lonely, even if what you are doing is pointing out how alienating other people are.

So, where’s the juice in this essay? Sadly, nothing about Mom’s penchant for nudity, Yael Goldstein (she was a publicist), and indeed anyone at all. Silag teases us with a line about how much money her parents are prepared to pay for her wedding, which would be great to know. But no, that would be gossiping.

There’s a semi-summation, nicely punctured by a reader:

“Instead of gossiping, I will allow myself only to tell good stories. Entertaining, well-edited stories, a mix of the facts and a little commentary.”

Really? When do you plan to start?

Would Salon have published this without the parental connection? Doubtful. Why not give Xrandadu Hutman a shot?

(illustation by Norman Rockwell)