Thursday, August 18, 2005

To the girl on whose blog I was commenting

Not that I'll be able to convince you of this, but you seem intelligent and I think you need to hear a contrary voice.
I think Stephanie has impressive, if very uneven, talent. I also know about 20 people who write better than she does; some are commercially successful, some are not. To some extent it's a matter of taste, but it's also empirical. Stephanie uses phrases like "full of miss" and puts a period after every word- very trendy but not particularly original and creative. She addresses her failed relationships. Yaay. Salinger and Steinbeck wrote about the tragedies and inequities of the human condition- they condensed them into stories of everyday life, but what makes them great is their ability to transcend the ordinary. Stephanie does not do this. She addresses the ordinary in a clever way, but doesn't move beyond it. Maybe she will someday- but she doesn't now, not on her blog.
This is why she will have an NBC sitcom and a chick-lit book.
Please tell me that you see the difference.


At 12:54 PM, Blogger Lizzie said...

Obviously Stephanie Klein doesn't have the literary talent of Salinger or Steinbeck. But I think being able to connect to and even inspire so many people through writing is a talent in and of itself. Plus, you write what you know and what is relevant to the times and I think Stephanie does that well. I agree with you that she's not a great writer but I guess I just don't see why you would care that someone else thinks she is. Chacun son truc.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Noisette said...

well, I was actually responding to a girl who compared those literary giants with Stephanie with a vehemence that surprised me, considering she seemed like a smart and spunky girl otherwise. But as for why I care... sigh. I don't know. Why do YOU care enough to mention and comment? Maybe I'm having an off day and I'm taking out my anger on poor, maligned Stephanie Klein. Maybe I think through all of the random insults and obsequious nonsense, Stephanie could use an actual critic.
And as for connecting and inspiring- "Chicken Soup for the Soul" inspires. It's still crap. Your benchmark doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Lizzie said...

I care because I'm conducting research for my doctoral thesis entitled "Stephanie Klein and Chicken Soup for the Soul: the Renaissance of Great American Literature."

At 2:26 PM, Blogger Noisette said...

Ha! Touche.

At 7:57 PM, Blogger zane919forest said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Heather B. said...

Here's the deal, I wrote her that email and it was a bit of a hyperbole as you said it was. She has been quite inspirational to me though and I hope that one day she will be like Salinger, Euginedes and Steinbeck as they are my favorite authors. As I said at the end of that post, I think she has it in her, but has yet to come to that. Hell, I hope that people think I have it in me and that I can do that as well.
And thanks for the warm comments, I do appreciate it!

At 7:44 AM, Blogger sam champion said...


i understand your need to be critical but get over yourself for a bit. i've been reading stephanie klein's blog for a while and judge it for what it is...a daily rant. she writes when she's drunk, when she's upset, probably when she doesn't want to, etc. it isn't a book. judge her book when it comes out. that is fair. comparing her to classic writers and discussing grammar in her journal is silly, a level of scrutiny not thrust upon others and petty. just look at it for what it is, put yourself in her position and lighten up.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Noisette said...

Well, if you'd followed along with this (albeit convoluted) blog conversation, you'd see that I was only responding to someone else who'd compared her to them. At any rate, I feel no need to get over myself and see no reason why my criticisms, measured and accurate as I think they are, need to be curbed. So put THAT in your pipe.
PS- Heather- fair enough. We all need people to admire- you could do worse than Stephanie. But I think you're every bit the writer that she is.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Wombat & Aspen said...

Dear Noisette,
I think the issue here is that there are two types of people: writers and those for whom content alone is enough. I'm in your camp, and I too have been flummoxed over so much praise over writing that is, well, common. To say S.K. is entertaining is one thing, to say she's an excellent writer is another. That said, I wish her the best and hope she's the next Candace Bushnell (also not a great writer, but successful nonetheless).

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Wombat & Aspen said...

Oh, I meant to add: for funny, smart, original writing, check out Blog Ho at - now he's someone who should have a book deal!
:) Midwest


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