Like a brave little girl who wants you to know that, while sticks and stones may cause bodily harm, criticism of a more verbal kind results in no injuries, Katha Pollitt shows up in The Times' today to thank an unnamed reviewer for trashing her recent collection, This Book Could Have Been Written At Any Point In The Last Thirty Years. (We're gonna let you in on a little secret, the review was by Gawker Media alumna Ana Marie Cox, and can be found here.) Pollitt, her head held high, relates how Cox's evisceration of her book (even in the "to be sure" paragraph, where the NYTBR reviewers are required by law to say something nice about the author, Cox can't help but make fun of Pollitt's strident pronouncements) actually turned out to be a good thing, since being written about by a semi-famous "mini-celebrity" enhanced Katha's own fame. It also turned out to be good for the book in the sense that Katha dropped a couple hundred bucks of her own money to jack up the Amazon numbers.
All in all, it's a fairly typical Pollitt performance. She seems to believe that, by virtue of writing about doing something pathetic, it becomes less pathetic. (HINT: It does not.) In any event, now that The Times has made it clear that writers are allowed to respond to their bad reviews in its pages, we look forward to Ms. Cox's forthcoming essay, "Thank You for Hating My Review."