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A typically "literary" Review cover illustration.
But given the other contradictions that bedevil
this mailing, it seems more likely that it's simply myopic. Consider, for example, how Kinard brays that other "literary magazines have...filled space with gossip and titillating
photos" while the Review has steadfastly resisted "sensational imitations of television" and remained above "the slag and scum and sediment that pass for
serious writing." A few scant paragraphs after this priggish bluster, she is recounting how Edmund Wilson's negative piece in the Review about Vladamir Nabokov's translation of Eugene Onegin "[put] the kibosh on that friendship!"
Gee, Anne, I don't know. That gleeful exclamation point sure has the ring of gossip to me...
And I guess it was just a coincidence, rather than an attempt to titillate, that accounts for the fact that of the eight Review covers that are reproduced in miniature on the various pieces of this mailing, three of them are the same "Sex in America" issue. And coincidence again, I'm certain, is the explanation for why a blurb from the Washington Post that calls the Review "the closest thing the intellectual world has to bare-knuckle boxing" gets printed three times as well. Funny, the last time I checked, fight-until-there's-brain-damage boxing matches fell squarely under the rubric of sensationalism, but maybe the old sport's done gone and refined itself.
There are many other examples of the mailing's dubious assertions, flaccid cajolery, and plain old mistakes to cite, but why bother?
If it's true, as Kinnard claims, that "for over thirty years The Review has taken the high ground," I'm sure that in the queasy aftermath of this impetuous episode of marketing debauchery, they're all feeling ashamed enough as it is.
Unless, of course, the mailing actually managed to garner some new subscriptions; in which case, they're probably planning their next campaign.
And if that's true, I do have one more thing to say...
Welcome to the slag, Anne and Rea!