Monday, September 12, 2005

Characters and their Unlikeable Characteristics

Donald Trump wrote a memorable – no that’s not the word – insulting letter to the New York Times Book Review. Trump was annoyed by Mark Singer’s dismissal of Trump’s best-selling books. Well, ole Donald can dish with the best of them, and he tells Sam Tanenhaus in no uncertain terms that Singer is an idiot.

“Most writers want to be successful. Some writers even want to be good writers. I've read John Updike, I've read Orhan Pamuk, I've read Philip Roth. When Mark Singer enters their league, maybe I'll read one of his books. But it will be a long time — he was not born with great writing ability. Until then, maybe he should concentrate on finding his own "lonely component" and then try to develop himself into a worldclass writer, as futile as that may be, instead of having to write about remarkable people who are clearly outside of his realm.”

Singer is the New Yorker writer famous for his hilarious take on odd, compulsive individuals. His profile of Trump appears in his new book, Character Studies: Encounters with the Curiously Obsessed.

Ed Champion of the Return of the Reluctant has out-Trumped Trump with a series of snarky, trumped up letters to the editor.

“Sir! It has been mere hours since I last sent you my all-important message. And you have not recognized the Power of Trump. When I say that I will destroy you, I mean business. Why have you not yet acknowledged the true evils of this world? Does your lack of response indicate that you side with the Mark Singers and the Jeff McGregors of this world? I am a man capable of accurately pinpointing manic depression after being interviewed for two hours by a New Yorker staffer. Understand that you are treading on dangerous ground.”

After weeks of depressing news, I found comfort in the idea that people are fighting to keep Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park open. I know a favorite bookstore can feel like an offshoot of home, or even better, a place to lose oneself, and the idea of having the best bookstore on the Peninsula shuttered is clearly unbearable. More than 500 people rallied recently to support Kepler’s. Look at the blog Litter in Litterature for complete coverage.

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