shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


on hearing and believing

I've pretty much been ignoring the flap today over Michael Chabon's talk "Golems I Have Known, Or, Why My Elder Son's Middle Name is Napoleon" because I think Chabon's a sharp guy and was speaking to a sharp audience and am unable to really believe that he would bend the truth for dramatic effect without indicating so on the subject of the Holocaust.* I make this assumption, of course, without having heard/read the talk in question, which makes me lazy and uninformed.

Nextbook has put the entire thing up online as a counter to the charges and I'm feeling just lazy and guilty and uninformed enough to go listen. You might want to too. If nothing else, you'll get to hear a MC talk for free.

The site's message sez:

As part of Nextbook's Writers Series, Michael Chabon gave a lecture titled "Golems I Have Known. or, Why My Elder Son's Middle Name is Napoleon." An article in the April/May 2005 issue of Bookforum, described on the cover as "Michael Chabon's Holocaust Hoax" and excerpted here, has refocused public attention on his presentation.

Nextbook has received Chabon's permission to make the entire lecture available on This way, readers may draw their own conclusions about Chabon's performance, rather than relying on the account woven into Paul Maliszewski's pointed argument. "Golems I Have Known" was recorded on November 12, 2003, at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

*And since I don't really have all the context here, even if he did, there's not automatically anything wrong with bending the factual truth in service of a greater truth, in my opinion.


  • At 8:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What if the author calls his lecture a memoir, takes great pains to mince remembered truth from what he fails to remember, and goes on to call a real person a Nazi, when that person wasn't? Is it really okay for people to go around calling other completely innocent unrelated people Nazis just because they write fiction for a living?

  • At 2:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Would that be any different from the Pearl Report, Ms. Gerwe?


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