Sister Carrie and the Emporer’s Club

Joshua Glenn in Boston.com weighs in on the subject du jour that keeps on giving: “[A] tossed-off quip about [Temeka] Lewis in a New York Times story about “The Diverse Crew of 4 Who Ran the Escort Service That Undid Spitzer” didn’t make me laugh. It annoyed me. Regarding Lewis, the Times story said

It seems unlikely that anything in the great works of fiction she studied in college would have prepared her for the gritty realities of playing air traffic controller to high-flying young women meeting men in hotels.

Really? Great works of fiction don’t feature protagonists and other characters who pay or get paid for sex, take mistresses and lovers, or cheat on their spouses? In great works of fiction, middle-aged political, business, and religious leaders don’t turn into hypocrites, scoundrels, and fools when they encounter an attractive young woman? Nor does a reader of great works of fiction ever encounter a young female character who enters into romantic liaisons with unattractive or unpleasant men for personal gain? […] In fact, a quick glance at the first 15 titles on the Modern Library’s list of 100 Best [Modern] Novels confirms that Tameka Lewis might well have learned how to handle the Eliot Spitzers and Kristens of the world without ever leaving the library.

 

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~ by eaesthete on 04/11/08.

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