Dipping My Toe Into the GMNs


17 December 2009

David Foster Wallace referred to the three male writers who “dominated postwar American fiction” — Roth, Updike, Mailer — as the GMNs: the Great Male Narcissists.

I have managed to not read any of them.  Until now.  Just finished Roth’s Everyman — a recommendation from a trusted (female) friend — which I enjoyed, and I’ve also just received American Pastoral as a gift.  I’m looking forward to it. Actually, it all started with Roth’s short story, “The Conversion of the Jews,” brought in to class by a student. Slowly, slowly, I dip my toe into the abyss of great male narcissism.

Why?  (shrug)  I’ll have a better answer to that, perhaps, a few books down the road.

Updike is probably up next — stories first, then maybe a Rabbit novel.

5 Responses to “Dipping My Toe Into the GMNs”

  1. Eric Says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who hadn’t read them–short of Executioner’s Song and “Goodbye Columbus”. I’ve had no interest to read further, might pick up something if you say it glows.

  2. erika Says:

    I have avoided them too with the exception of Rabbit, Run. But may try Herzog this year. Good luck. Will be interested in what you think.

    By the by, I really enjoy your writing on The Millions and especially liked your review today of the film version of The Road.

  3. sonyachung Says:

    Thanks, Erika — and thanks for coming by my blog!

    Eric and Erika — your reviews of Executioner’s Song and Rabbit, Run?

  4. Eric Says:

    The Executioner’s Song is wonderful. In Cold Blood meets Moby-Dick; Capote’s topic, Melville’s depth.

  5. […] maybe in all literature (Exhibit A: the popularity of MAD MEN among the literary set). As I wrote last week, I’m just dipping my toes in to the great narcissistic pool of Roth-Updike-Mailer; but James […]

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