"Borges on the beach"
Wed Jan 17 2007
Now that Jenny has published Some of Her Parts, her debut memoir (or is it a novel?) with Simon & Schuster, The L Word has renewed its lust for lit—or at least for literary name-dropping. This is, after all, the show that reminded us that talking about Anne Carson is totally sexy (no argument there!). It's also the show on which a character purred that if the world were ending tomorrow, she would spend today "reading Borges on the beach." I'm referring to Marina, who recently returned from the near dead to declare Jenny's book "Dorothy Allison with a sheen of Mary Gaitskill."
I know: Ewwwww. Maybe The L Word has featured episodes written by novelist A.M. Homes, but the show isn't as interested in invoking literary characters as it is in tagging book-lovers as pretentious. Jenny herself has become a magnet for the worst author stereotypes. She's pretentious, and self-important enough to stomp into a magazine's offices to demand revenge after she gets a bad review (note to self: tell Time Out's front desk to deny entry to all disgruntled authors). In this context, annoying characters have their own weird charm, and reports suggest that Jenny's authorial viciousness is about to get cranked up a notch. But it's interesting to wonder if a contemporary show (or a novel, for that matter) could portray a literary character who isn't a little bit cringeworthy.