Mark Helprin: All The Reviews Of My Book Sucked Because Publishers Assigned The People I Insult To Review It
from the interesting-theories dept
Besides, there were many other problems with Helprin's book. It came across much worse than many of the commenters he attacked. It was filled with ad hominem attacks against these "digital barbarians" and repeatedly got basic facts wrong. Amusingly, considering he spends so much time mocking people for not understanding what he really was saying, the most incredible thing is that he does the exact same thing to almost everyone he criticizes. But, in the end, the biggest problem with Helprin's book was that it just wasn't very good. He gets so focused on his own use of language, that he fails to make a very strong point. And... nearly every single review of the book found exactly that.
But, Helprin is apparently not one to back down. Rather than respond to any of the complaints against his book -- including the massive factual errors -- Helprin has written up a 2,400 word screed slamming everyone for the poor reviews of his book. You see, it wasn't that the book was bad, but that, once again, no one actually understood what he was writing. And why? Well, according to Helprin, because every publisher assigned the book to the very "barbarians" he was trying to insult with the book. And, since we're all so clueless and inbred, of course we couldn't understand it:
Nearly every publication, left, right, and center, assigned the book, with digital in its title, to a resident digeratus, a member of the very tribe I provoke, and thus it was that I came to sell rosaries in Mecca.Again, he fails to respond to a single point raised by any of the reviews. Instead, he just whines that people thought he was clueless, but he insists he's not. How could he be clueless? He quoted famous people!
It is why in making my argument I cite, and count as allies, Churchill, Thomas Hardy, Flannery O'Connor, Shakespeare, Yeats, Montaigne, and even Charles de Gaulle, among others.But, the most ridiculous part of Helprin's whiny defense of how every single reviewer got his book wrong is his reference to one particular passage that many reviewers pointed to:
It would be one thing if such a revolution produced Mozarts, Einsteins, or Raphaels, but it doesn't. It produces mouth-breathing morons in backwards baseball caps and pants that fall down; Slurpee-sucking geeks who seldom see daylight; pretentious and earnest hipsters who want you to wear bamboo socks so the world doesn't end; women who have lizard tattoos winding from the navel to the nape of the neck; beer-drinking dufuses who pay to watch noisy cars driving around in a circle for eight hours at a stretch; and an entire race of females, now entering middle age, that speaks in North American chipmunk and seldom makes a statement without, like, a question mark at the end?This bit of luddism provoked a bunch of responses, suggesting that Helprin was reaching the "get off my lawn, kids!" stage of life. However, the real problem wasn't just Helprin being an old fuddy-duddy, but the fact that he's flat out wrong. Mozart, Einstein and Raphael did what they did without copyright for the most part. Mozart's best works were actually highly derivative and he created his music at a time when copyright did not cover musical works. Raphael lived in a time before copyright. And Einstein's works had nothing to do with copyright at all.
Perhaps there's a simpler explanation for why no one liked your book, Mr. Helprin: it's just no damn good.