The Journalist and the Murderer

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Author: Janet Malcolm

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307797872

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 176

View: 8191

A seminal work and examination of the psychopathology of journalism. Using a strange and unprecedented lawsuit as her larger-than-life example -- the lawsuit of Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, against Joe McGinniss, the author of Fatal Vision, a book about the crime -- she delves into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject. In Malcolm's view, neither journalist nor subject can avoid the moral impasse that is built into the journalistic situation. When the text first appeared, as a two-part article in The New Yorker, its thesis seemed so radical and its irony so pitiless that journalists across the country reacted as if stung. Her book is a work of journalism as well as an essay on journalism: it at once exemplifies and dissects its subject. In her interviews with the leading and subsidiary characters in the MacDonald-McGinniss case -- the principals, their lawyers, the members of the jury, and the various persons who testified as expert witnesses at the trial -- Malcolm is always aware of herself as a player in a game that, as she points out, she cannot lose. The journalist-subject encounter has always troubled journalists, but never before has it been looked at so unflinchingly and so ruefully. Hovering over the narrative -- and always on the edge of the reader's consciousness -- is the MacDonald murder case itself, which imparts to the book an atmosphere of anxiety and uncanniness. The Journalist and the Murderer derives from and reflects many of the dominant intellectual concerns of our time, and it will have a particular appeal for those who cherish the odd, the off-center, and the unsolved.

Psychoanalysis

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Author: Janet Malcolm

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 030779783X

Category: Psychology

Page: 188

View: 3369

From the author of In the Freud Archives and The Journalist and the Murderer comes an intensive look at the practice of psychoanalysis through interviews with “Aaron Green,” a Freudian analyst in New York City. Malcolm is accessible and lucid in describing the history of psychoanalysis and its development in the United States. It provides rare insight into the contradictory world of psychoanalytic training and treatment and a foundation for our understanding of psychiatry and mental health. "Janet Malcom has managed somehow to peer into the reticent, reclusive world of psychoanalysis and to report to us, with remarkable fidelity, what she has seen. When I began reading I thought condescendingly, 'She will get the facts right, and everything else wrong.' She does get the facts right, but far more pressive, she has been able to capture and convey the claustral atmosphere of the profession. Her book is journalism become art." —Joseph Andelson, The New York Times Book Review

A Wilderness of Error

The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald

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Author: Errol Morris

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101583835

Category: True Crime

Page: 576

View: 1337

Academy Award-winning filmmaker and former private detective Errol Morris examines the nature of evidence and proof in the infamous Jeffrey MacDonald murder case Early on the morning of February 17, 1970, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Jeffrey MacDonald, a Green Beret doctor, called the police for help. When the officers arrived at his home they found the bloody and battered bodies of MacDonald’s pregnant wife and two young daughters. The word “pig” was written in blood on the headboard in the master bedroom. As MacDonald was being loaded into the ambulance, he accused a band of drug-crazed hippies of the crime. So began one of the most notorious and mysterious murder cases of the twentieth century. Jeffrey MacDonald was finally convicted in 1979 and remains in prison today. Since then a number of bestselling books—including Joe McGinniss’s Fatal Vision and Janet Malcolm’s The Journalist and the Murderer—and a blockbuster television miniseries have told their versions of the MacDonald case and what it all means. Errol Morris has been investigating the MacDonald case for over twenty years. A Wilderness of Error is the culmination of his efforts. It is a shocking book, because it shows us that almost everything we have been told about the case is deeply unreliable, and crucial elements of the case against MacDonald simply are not true. It is a masterful reinvention of the true-crime thriller, a book that pierces the haze of myth surrounding these murders with the sort of brilliant light that can only be produced by years of dogged and careful investigation and hard, lucid thinking. By this book’s end, we know several things: that there are two very different narratives we can create about what happened at 544 Castle Drive, and that the one that led to the conviction and imprisonment for life of this man for butchering his wife and two young daughters is almost certainly wrong. Along the way Morris poses bracing questions about the nature of proof, criminal justice, and the media, showing us how MacDonald has been condemned, not only to prison, but to the stories that have been created around him. In this profoundly original meditation on truth and justice, Errol Morris reopens one of America’s most famous cases and forces us to confront the unimaginable. Morris has spent his career unsettling our complacent assumptions that we know what we’re looking at, that the stories we tell ourselves are true. This book is his finest and most important achievement to date.

The Politics and Poetics of Journalistic Narrative

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Author: Phyllis Frus

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521443241

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 292

View: 5440

The Politics and Poetics of Journalistic Narrative investigates the textuality of all discourse, arguing that the ideologically charged distinction between 'journalism' and 'fiction' is socially constructed rather than natural. Phyllis Frus separates literariness from aesthetic definitions, regarding it as a way of reading a text through its style to discover how it 'makes' reality.

The Undeclared War between Journalism and Fiction

Journalists as Genre Benders in Literary History

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Author: D. Underwood

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137353481

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 250

View: 4007

In this volume, Doug Underwood asks whether much of what is now called literary journalism is, in fact, 'literary,' and whether it should rank with the great novels by such journalist-literary figures as Twain, Cather, and Hemingway, who believed that fiction was the better place for a realistic writer to express the important truths of life.

Journalism and Truth

Strange Bedfellows

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Author: Tom Goldstein

Publisher: Northwestern University Press

ISBN: 0810124335

Category: History

Page: 207

View: 8068

Looking at how journalism has changed over time, this book explores how the long-standing and untrustworthy conventions developed. It examines why reliable standards of objectivity and accuracy are critical not just to a free press but to the democratic society it informs and serves. It offers an account of how journalism and truth work.

The Silent Woman

Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes

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Author: Janet Malcolm

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307830616

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 8383

In an astonishing feat of literary detection, one of the most provocative critics of our time and the author of In the Freud Archives and The Purloined Clinic offers an elegantly reasoned meditation on the art of biography. In The Silent Woman, Janet Malcolm examines the biographies of Sylvia Plath to create a book not about Plath’s life but about her afterlife: how her estranged husband, the poet Ted Hughes, as executor of her estate, tried to serve two masters—Plath’s art and his own need for privacy; and how it fell to his sister, Olwyn Hughes, as literary agent for the estate, to protect him by limiting access to Plath’s work. Even as Malcolm brings her skepticism to bear on the claims of biography to present the truth about a life, a portrait of Sylvia Plath emerges that gives us a sense of “knowing” this tragic poet in a way we have never known her before. And she dispels forever the innocence with which most of us have approached the reading of any biography. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Purloined Clinic

Selected Writings

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Author: Janet Malcolm

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307830608

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 400

View: 4019

The Purloined Clinic is a retrospective of essays, reviews, and reports that reflect the range and depth of Janet Malcolm's engagement with psychology, criticism, art, and literature. She examines aspects of "that absurdist collaboration," the psychoanalytic dialogue, from which come "small, stray sell recognitions that no other human relationship yields, brought forward under conditions...that no other human relationship could survive." She addresses such subjects as Tom Wolfe's vendetta against modern architecture, Milan Kundera's literary experiments, and Vaclav Havel's prison letters. She explores the somewhat deflated world of post-revolutionary Prague, guides us through the labyrinthine New York art world of the eighties, and takes us behind the one-way mirror of Salvador Minuchin's school of family therapy.And to each subject she brings the incisive skepticism and dazzling epigrammatic style that are her hallmarks. “Why don’t more people write like [Malcolm]?... She is cast from the mold of the Eastern European intellectual: beholden to modernism. as familiar with Kundera’s exile as she is with Freud’s Vienna. This sensibility must grant her the detachment she sometimes so mercilessly employs, but it also gives her an unassailable passion for getting to the center of things.” —Boston Globe

Reading Chekhov

A Critical Journey

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Author: Janet Malcolm

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN: 1847085652

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 5565

In Reading Chekhov Janet Malcolm takes on three roles: literary critic, biographer and journalist. Her close readings of Chekhov's stories and plays are interwoven with episodes from his life and framed by an account of a recent journey she made to St Petersburg. Malcolm demonstrates how the shadow of death that hovered over most of Chekhov's literary career - he became consumptive in his twenties and died in his forties - is almost everywhere reflected in the work. She writes of his childhood, his relationship with his family, his marriage, his travels, his early success, his exile to Yalta - always with an eye to connecting them to his themes and characters.

A Reader's Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year

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Author: Tom Nissley

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393241491

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 416

View: 5368

A witty and addictively readable day-by-day literary companion. At once a love letter to literature and a charming guide to the books most worth reading, A Reader's Book of Days features bite-size accounts of events in the lives of great authors for every day of the year. Here is Marcel Proust starting In Search of Lost Time and Virginia Woolf scribbling in the margin of her own writing, "Is it nonsense, or is it brilliance?" Fictional events that take place within beloved books are also included: the birth of Harry Potter’s enemy Draco Malfoy, the blood-soaked prom in Stephen King’s Carrie. A Reader's Book of Days is filled with memorable and surprising tales from the lives and works of Martin Amis, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Roberto Bolano, the Brontë sisters, Junot Díaz, Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Keats, Hilary Mantel, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O’Connor, Orhan Pamuk, George Plimpton, Marilynne Robinson, W. G. Sebald, Dr. Seuss, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Hunter S. Thompson, Leo Tolstoy, David Foster Wallace, and many more. The book also notes the days on which famous authors were born and died; it includes lists of recommended reading for every month of the year as well as snippets from book reviews as they appeared across literary history; and throughout there are wry illustrations by acclaimed artist Joanna Neborsky. Brimming with nearly 2,000 stories, A Reader's Book of Days will have readers of every stripe reaching for their favorite books and discovering new ones.