Lee Siegel in the New York Times:
Amid all the justified, and long overdue, concern about truth in memoir — and in nonfiction books generally — a peculiar condition of American literary culture has been overlooked: a radical mistrust of generalization reigns. This is especially the case at magazines and newspapers, wheresweeping statements, speculation and intuitive leaps have long been suppressed. And now, in the wake of the James Frey affair, Oprah Winfrey and others are calling for publishers to verify the factual accuracy of their books. Let us, then, put the question of written accuracy in perspective. Let us imagine for a moment what Western intellectual history would be like if the awesome figure of The Fact-Checker had stood astride culture from (almost) the beginning. . . .
First, congratulations from all of us here at The Jerusalemite on Saul of Tarsus’ selection of “Genesis” for his book club. This is huge. We just have a few queries about “Exodus” before it goes to press:
p. 12: “and the waters were divided.” Could we say: “apparently the sea was at very low tide that day”? Also, would Y-u please just take a look at Y–r notes again and make sure this really happened?