Friday, March 5, 2010

Defamation of Character

Philip Roth is suing me for defamation of character. He claims I wrote patently false comments about him that exposed him to hatred, ridicule and contempt, and that these statements were disseminated publicly via my blog, though considering how many people actually read the blog, you'd really have to characterize it as, at best, a semi-public disclosure. But apparently all it takes to demonstrate libel or slander is that the comments were communicated to a third party. In any case, there it is, my first lawsuit.

Perhaps you recall the 4 posts about the seats at Alice Tully Hall and my being thrown out of Lincoln Center and having to go to jail and all that. Well, it turns out most of what I described wasn't entirely true. Come to think of it, not one part of it was true. Actually, here's the one part that was true: Philip Roth does show up at ALL the same concerts we go to. I always look for him and he's always there. Maybe once or twice, he wasn't there, but it's very close to always. That's the only part that's true. Now, I did seriously consider going up to him to offer him our seats in place of his, but I never even did that. Everything was fabricated.

You would think that Philip Roth would be too busy turning sentences around to bother with me. In case you don't know this reference, by the way, in one of his best novels "Ghost Writer," Roth's writer-protagonist says: “I turn sentences around. That’s my life. I write a sentence and then I turn it around. Then I look at it and turn it around again. Then I have lunch. Then I come back and write another sentence. Then I have tea and turn the new sentence around. Then I read the two sentences over and turn them both around. Then I lie down on my sofa and think. Then I get up and throw them out and start from the beginning.”

And then, I guess, he goes to a string quartet concert, and I end up the recipient of a lawsuit. Fortunately, I have the perfect defense. When I wrote all of those particular posts, I myself was desperately turning sentences around and became so consumed by the exigencies of syntactical transmutation that I was driven temporarily insane and thereby relinquished all sense of right and wrong. It's true, I am now entirely in my right mind, but really no one should be held accountable for what is written in a blog. It is a maddening endeavor literally and its products must always be taken lightly.

No comments:

Post a Comment