Bad Man

Quick thing. I just want to note it. I have noted a dislike for Joseph Epstein before. I’m going to do it again. I dislike a remark in this article in Commentary – which Arts and Letters Daily for some reason quoted in its teaser (which is why I saw it in the first place). Why flag up such a – well, here is the remark:

Wilson at his meanest shows up in Dabney’s account of his marriage to the novelist and critic Mary McCarthy—a marriage made in 1937 when he was forty-two and she was twenty-five. “I was too young,” McCarthy would later claim, and “I was too old,” Wilson would counter. It would be closer to the truth to say that both were too selfish and wanting in the least human insight. McCarthy always mistook her snobbery for morality; Wilson mistook life for literature. Dabney, summing up this wretched partnership, writes: “American letters has not seen another alliance so flawed and so distinguished.” So flawed and so distinguished – what a way to characterize the union of a true bitch and a genuine bully.

That’s disgusting. I’m not going to bother saying why, because I think it’s obvious. I’m tempted to call Epstein all sorts of foul names, but I won’t, because I’m better than he is. I will, however, point out that he has a mediocre intellect and McCarthy did not. Maybe that’s why he calls her foul names.

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