Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Obsession by Kaavya Viswanathan

Fine, fine, I'm not done. I'm still obsessed with linking every possibly interesting article about Kaavya Viswanathan.

Here is an article from the Harvard Independent which reviews the book. It's actually a good review and I think this is part of the "schadenfreude" phenomenon - the book is about someone who in real life WOULD get into Harvard, and in the book, she DOES. Who cares about all the intervening plotlines - they're totally implausible - and so in the end the reader's reaction is, "Oh, well, I knew that would happen" (more so even than in normal cliched books). Schadenfreude comes in because we already didn't feel sorry for Opal since really, her life and her quest for Harvard wasn't so bad. Add to that the fact that in REAL life, the "Opal" character (that's Kaavya) GOT into Harvard and then fucked up big time. It's so freaking satisfying.

Here is Malcolm Gladwell's unconvincing argument about why no one should care - if you check the more recent post titled "Alright, Alright, Alright" you'll see him concede the point - and here is a linguist's response to said unconvincing argument, in which he employs Google Book Search to make a point. God bless Google as usual. (Thanks to Galleycat for these links. I would never have thought to look for Gladwell's blog.)

More speculation about whether or not writing this book was just a "hook" for college admissions processes, dreamed up by Kaavya's IvyWise counselor. Nice one.

One of Kaavya's TAs (maybe) says that she is a bad writer. True dat.

1 comment:

NinaStargirl said...

sooo. . . do you loan out your copy of the book as supplemental reading to people who read your blog?