October 15, 2013

Who among us is brave enough to speak out against Alice Munro?


Won’t somebody stand up to this cruel tyrant?

It’s a travesty. It offends. It may not be a crime but only because no magistrate could have been depraved enough to think it necessary to guard against the possibility.

In a blow against literacy everywhere, in a move that calls into question the very purpose of the written word, the Nobel Prize for literature was given to Alice Munro last Thursday.

Munro, in case you have not read her, is a monster in author’s skin, a travesty in type, a living sin against intelligence and any language into which her foul works have been translated.

And while many of us may be too cowed to speak out against this monstrous injustice, there is one who is not so afraid.

God bless you, Bret Easton Ellis. Only you can save us from pensive, fraught stories written by a gentle, hard-working eighty-two year old Canadian with a nice smile.

While some among us might be content to say, our voices muffled beneath the bootheel of Swedish tyranny, “She’s not my favorite author, but I can understand that she is indeed very good, and she really has built up an impressive body of work” a hero of Ellis’s certitude will not stand for it. No sunny day defender of literature is he, no. He’ll not stand by while this author of miraculously tense and emotionally subtle stories who also happens to look like your Nana gets to go to a fancy party. Nor will he let the corrupt, worm-eaten organization behind such monstrous injustice stand unaccused.

Such breathtaking truth. It almost hurts to look at it. His is the voice of Literature, sent to call us out from our burrows, a torch to light our way. Here we have the truth and the truth shall set us free from kind of liking Munro, from thinking maybe she’s pretty good sometimes, certainly not the worst choice, hey remember that story with the son in willful poverty, I think it ran in the New Yorker a few years back, that one was pretty great.

I say again, we should all be grateful for Bret Easton Ellis: author, savior, dickish dismisser of nice Canadians.


Dustin Kurtz is the marketing manager of Melville House, and a former bookseller.