Thursday, August 05, 2010

Eating Our Own

Writing in the August 8th issue of Entertainment Weekly about the divided reception to the memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Karen Valby comments, "When women rally around something in pop culture, it isn't long before the objects of their affection are loudly trivialized or dismissed." What she doesn't say--and what I think--is that the sneerers are most frequently other women. Not that I think Eat, Pray, Love (or Twilight, for that matter) has an extensive audience of male fans, but most men probably find both books either off their radar or beneath their notice, condemnation to be sure, but not active engagement. Professionally, however, I do labor in female-intensive vineyards so maybe my viewpoint is skewed.

(Or I am simply wrong. When I went to ET's site to see if Valby's interview with Elizabeth Gilbert was there, I couldn't find it, but I did find this reader comment from "Jorge": "Karen Valby loves this retarded chick flick with julia freakin' roberts, but can only deign to give 'Monster of Florence' a 'b'. Clearly she can't distinguish between a talented artist such as Douglas Preston and the intestinal waste shoved down her gullet by hollywood.")


Anonymous said...

I often find the harshest condemnation of women's behavior comes from other women. Maybe they expect better than human, that is, perfection!
Audrey Maynard

Kenneth John Odle said...

When I first heard about Eat, Pray, Love in a lit class, I didn't think I would care much for it. But those who read it were extraordinarily passionate about it. When term was over, I read it for myself and was completely blown away. First impressions are often inaccurate. This is a book that can change your life. I recommend it to everyone I know. I just hope that the movie doesn't dumb it down too much, although I know it will. It's being pegged as a "romantic comedy" and while there are funny moments and romantic moments in the book, that is hardly what it is about.