Leon’s Beef With Brief

Jun 23 2013 @ 6:32pm

Leon Wieseltier confirms, once again, that he really doesn’t like blogs:

I have to say that there is not one blog, out of the eight million that must exist, that I read. The thing about blogging is that it is either someone’s first thoughts—which we know by definition are never their best thoughts—so that’s not interesting, or as time goes by they simply repeat themselves. Moreover there isn’t a lot you can say about anything consequential in 300 words. I write the back page of the magazine and I always wish it was three times as long as it is…

Fred Clark pounces:

[H]ere, then, is Wieseltier’s standard for “consequential” writing: Never say in 300 words what you can say, instead, in 1,500. That explains a great deal about why his columns read the way they do. “I have made this letter longer than usual,” Pascal once wrote, “because I lack the time to make it short.” Wieseltier seems to subscribe to the opposite point of view.

He’s also cheating himself. He wishes that his back-page column could be “three times as long as it is” because he has more to say than he can fit into that single page published 20 times a year. Wieseltier doesn’t seem to realize the obvious, common solution to that problem — take the best stuff that doesn’t fit and post it online.