James Wolcott and Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades, and Hurrahs

November 29th, 2013
Let's face it, our attention spans have been decapitated by modernity.  Our knowledge, criticism and even entertainment now comes to us in 140 neat characters.  We ourselves can be critics, just by clicking on a “thumbs up.”  

Today, serious commentary and serious criticism is in short supply.  It's not gone..but it's in remission.  One place it still survives is in the presence of James Wolcott and and his work, primarily today, on the pages of Vanity Fair.

His just published collection of work and essays Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades, and Hurrahs, reminds us of what it was like, not that long ago, when ideas seemed to matter. When we thought as well at felt, and when the moral power of language made us sit up and take notice.

My conversation with James Wolcott: