The Frey fray

It turns out that James Frey's "searing memoir of drug abuse" isn't based on real-life searing drug abuse. Or murder. Or vehicular manslaughter. Or anything very transgressive at all, really...

James Wolcott extracts one major object lesson from the latest literary hoax:


I'm just automatically suspicious of every tale of woe that's peddled as a tale of redemption. The whole concept of redemption seems fishy to me, another form of sentimentality. How many people do you know have found redemption? What does "redemption" really mean? It's got a lofty religious sound, but the vast majority of people improve or worsen in varying degrees over time, and even those who radically turn their lives around or pull themselves out of the abyss still have to go on doing the mundane things we all do, often suffering relapses or channeling their sobriety and sadder-but-wiser maturity into passive-aggressive preening of their own moral goodness.
At least some good will come out of all this... Frey's story moves Neal Pollack to make a confession of his own.

Finally, Somewaterytart at Shakespeare's Sister nominates the Frey fracas as the first subject of a new feature at SS: What's the Big Fuckin' Deal, Bitch? of the week.

[Neal Pollack, James Wolcott, Shakespeare's Sister, 3QuarksDaily]

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