Blogger Elizabeth Howard presents a strangely angry depiction of Joyce Carol Oates’s appearance at Fairfield University on Sunday. The afternoon event is presented as a would-be ambush by Professor “Buttercup,” an “eminent nobody” whose puny attack is casually dismissed by an Olympian JCO. Howard ridicules the presumptuous “man-professor,” academics in general, and any Connecticut resident there who might have a concurrent interest in literature and local sports. Not having been there, I hesitate to call the account simply cranky. But I will call it interesting, on a number of levels.
Oh, how I wish that I lived in the United States to be able to attend one of Joyce Carol Oates’ public appearances. I suppose she will never come to Europe for a reading – or will she?
As far as I’m aware–and I’m pretty aware–Oates has never won the Pultizer Prize, although she deserves it, and much more, for her brilliant and prolific recording of the “American” experience.
There is a certain kind of nut who circulates at literary events and perhaps laughs too loudly at the speaker’s jokes or jeers and boos her disapproval, ultimately claiming an intimate connection with the speaker which all too often devolves into stalking.
I hope this woman keeps to her blog and doesn’t decide to obey the many voices emerging from her tooth fillings.