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Janet Malcolm

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OPINION
June 6, 2010 | Charlotte Allen
Who's worse, Joe McGinniss or Janet Malcolm? The two journalists were famously at each other's throats after Malcolm wrote scathingly about McGinniss' book on the Jeffrey MacDonald murder trial of 1979. But they are also eerily similar in their penchant for overwriting, amateur psychoanalysis of their subjects, sneering condescension and questionable journalistic tactics. And now they've both come roaring back into the public eye. McGinniss' latest caper is renting the house next door to Sarah Palin in Wasilla, Alaska.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 3, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Janet Malcolm may end up best known for a single paragraph: the one that starts her 1990 book "The Journalist and the Murderer. " "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible," she writes there. "He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse. " The indictment is more powerful because Malcolm never renders herself immune.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 3, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Janet Malcolm may end up best known for a single paragraph: the one that starts her 1990 book "The Journalist and the Murderer. " "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible," she writes there. "He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse. " The indictment is more powerful because Malcolm never renders herself immune.
OPINION
November 4, 2011 | Michael Kinsley
In 1989, New Yorker writer Janet Malcolm published her famous essay, "The Journalist and the Murderer," with its notoriously overheated opening sentence: "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. " This was back in the era when the New Yorker specialized in overheated and overhyped essays, including "The Fate of the Earth" by Jonathan Schell, which argued that all normal life must cease until we eliminate nuclear weapons.
BOOKS
October 14, 2007 | Nicholas Delbanco, Nicholas Delbanco is the Robert Frost Distinguished University professor at the University of Michigan. His most recent novel is "Spring and Fall."
I want to start with the title. The "two lives" referred to are those of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and the author presumes a kind of familiarity, using only their first names. Neither Stein nor Toklas would have welcomed this. In a tip of the cap to Stein's title "Three Lives," the absent third person here is the author herself. The second word in the opening of "Two Lives" is the first-person pronoun, and "I" figures largely throughout.
NEWS
November 3, 1994 | MAURA DOLAN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
A federal jury here cleared New Yorker writer Janet Malcolm of libeling a controversial psychoanalyst Wednesday after a protracted legal battle that rocked the psychoanalytic community and put journalistic ethics on trial. The jury of seven women and one man found that two of five quotations challenged by psychoanalyst Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson were false, but decided that the writer had not intentionally erred in her 1983 New Yorker profile.
BOOKS
March 11, 1990 | David Rieff, Rieff is a free-lance writer
Some years ago, Joan Didion ended ne of her most famous essays--a piece that all her admirers remember, and, fortunately, that few of her subjects subsequently took to heart--with this gaunt, defiant coda: "Writers," she warned, "are always selling somebody out." At times, Janet Malcolm's brilliant and discomfiting new book, "The Journalist and the Murderer," is an attempt to graft flesh onto the bones of that remark. Her formulation is, if anything, even more stark than Didion's.
NEWS
June 6, 1996 | Times Wire Services
A federal appeals court Wednesday rejected a Berkeley psychoanalyst's latest attempt to revive his 12-year-old libel suit against freelance writer Janet Malcolm and the New Yorker magazine. A lawyer for Jeffrey Masson claimed that a trial judge hindered Masson's attempt to prove that Malcolm made up quotes in an article she wrote about him in 1983. Masson charged that the story ruined his career as a scholar. But the 9th U.S.
NEWS
October 4, 1994 | From Associated Press
The retrial of a celebrated libel suit over a New Yorker magazine article started Monday where the first trial left off, with writer Janet Malcolm acknowledging that she rearranged quotes but denying that she invented them. "I was following here a technique which the New Yorker is known for, organizing people's speech" into a coherent monologue, said Malcolm, who was called as an adverse witness by a lawyer for psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson.
NEWS
March 30, 1989 | GARRY ABRAMS, Times Staff Writer
Some murder cases don't die. They become the source of endless literary arguments. For most of this month, journalistic tongues have been wagging over a two-part article by Janet Malcolm in New Yorker magazine in which Malcolm--after investigating the tangled aftermath of a celebrated multiple homicide--castigated her colleagues for "preying on people's vanity, ignorance or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse."
OPINION
June 6, 2010 | Charlotte Allen
Who's worse, Joe McGinniss or Janet Malcolm? The two journalists were famously at each other's throats after Malcolm wrote scathingly about McGinniss' book on the Jeffrey MacDonald murder trial of 1979. But they are also eerily similar in their penchant for overwriting, amateur psychoanalysis of their subjects, sneering condescension and questionable journalistic tactics. And now they've both come roaring back into the public eye. McGinniss' latest caper is renting the house next door to Sarah Palin in Wasilla, Alaska.
BOOKS
October 14, 2007 | Nicholas Delbanco, Nicholas Delbanco is the Robert Frost Distinguished University professor at the University of Michigan. His most recent novel is "Spring and Fall."
I want to start with the title. The "two lives" referred to are those of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and the author presumes a kind of familiarity, using only their first names. Neither Stein nor Toklas would have welcomed this. In a tip of the cap to Stein's title "Three Lives," the absent third person here is the author herself. The second word in the opening of "Two Lives" is the first-person pronoun, and "I" figures largely throughout.
BOOKS
December 9, 2001 | KEITH TAYLOR
In one of his often quoted letters, Anton Chekhov explained his philosophy of fiction: "Drawing conclusions is up to the jury, that is, the readers. My only job is to be talented ... to know how to distinguish important testimony from unimportant, to place my characters in the proper light and speak their language." In "Reading Chekhov: A Critical Journey," Janet Malcolm quotes the letter for those who might need the introduction to Chekhov, then provides her own spin for initiated readers.
NEWS
March 12, 1999 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The writer Janet Malcolm has made her specialty the limits of language. How does the story a person tells about something relate to what actually happened? How close can a biographer ever get to his subject? How does the telling of a story change the very nature of its subject? Malcolm has investigated these puzzles in subjects as varied as the relationship between the late poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes and the privileges and traps of journalism.
NEWS
June 6, 1996 | Times Wire Services
A federal appeals court Wednesday rejected a Berkeley psychoanalyst's latest attempt to revive his 12-year-old libel suit against freelance writer Janet Malcolm and the New Yorker magazine. A lawyer for Jeffrey Masson claimed that a trial judge hindered Masson's attempt to prove that Malcolm made up quotes in an article she wrote about him in 1983. Masson charged that the story ruined his career as a scholar. But the 9th U.S.
NEWS
November 3, 1994 | MAURA DOLAN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
A federal jury here cleared New Yorker writer Janet Malcolm of libeling a controversial psychoanalyst Wednesday after a protracted legal battle that rocked the psychoanalytic community and put journalistic ethics on trial. The jury of seven women and one man found that two of five quotations challenged by psychoanalyst Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson were false, but decided that the writer had not intentionally erred in her 1983 New Yorker profile.
NEWS
September 10, 1993 | JENIFER WARREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal judge on Thursday set the stage for a replay of one of the juiciest libel trials in recent history but dismissed a key defendant--the New Yorker magazine--from the case. Capping weeks of speculation, U.S. District Judge Eugene F. Lynch granted psychoanalyst Jeffrey M. Masson a retrial of his lawsuit against writer Janet Malcolm, whom he accused of libeling him in a profile in the New Yorker in 1983.
NEWS
June 4, 1993 | JENIFER WARREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A psychoanalyst's libel case against the New Yorker magazine and writer Janet Malcolm ended in a mistrial Thursday, but it will take a judge's ruling to define what that conclusion means. On their fourth day of deliberations, jurors delivered a partial verdict concluding that Malcolm had libeled Jeffrey M. Masson with two quotations in a New Yorker article.
NEWS
October 4, 1994 | From Associated Press
The retrial of a celebrated libel suit over a New Yorker magazine article started Monday where the first trial left off, with writer Janet Malcolm acknowledging that she rearranged quotes but denying that she invented them. "I was following here a technique which the New Yorker is known for, organizing people's speech" into a coherent monologue, said Malcolm, who was called as an adverse witness by a lawyer for psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson.
BOOKS
May 15, 1994 | Elaine Showalter, Elaine Showalter is professor of English at Princeton University, and the author of "Sister's Choice: Tradition and Change in American Women's Writing" (1991)
Ours is not an age in which literary events create much stir, but the publication in the New Yorker last summer of Janet Malcolm's study of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes was an exception. Brilliantly packaged by Tina Brown, with reprints of the Plath poems that had been originally published in the New Yorker, the issue was a sellout on both sides of the Atlantic, and for weeks no dinner party from Westwood to Hampstead was complete without a discussion of it.
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