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Poor old Hollister

Tuesday 2/6/24

This is a letter I sent to someone over the weekend:

Dear Ms. Zipfel,

How are you? I was checking something last night regarding my website and one Lorin Stein, and I encountered your piece for Washington Square News. Knowing what I know, I look at such a piece as a necessary act of service that also holds a person like this accountable, something a Lorin Stein is always seeking to avoid and was being enabled in so doing before you and your publication interceded. I just wanted to say that I thought you did a good job. I suspect you don't need me to tell you this, but as you go along in your career, continue to be brave and have your standards and don't let anyone undercut you in those areas. People who don't are important. Anyway, thanks again, kudos on the stellar name, and write well.



Colin Fleming

What is this in regards to? Lorin Stein has come up on here multiple times. When he was the editor in chief at The Paris Review, while holding a position at the same time as an editor-at-large for FSG, he'd reputedly trade sex for publication, have sex on his desk at work, and there were allegations of anal rape.

The wonderful system of publishing, right? And let's just get some of the incestuous particulars out of the way: Stein's now-wife, Sadie, worked at The Paris Review when he was doing his stuff there. Probably not much of a stretch to get an idea or two about how she had that position. She's now an editor at The New York Times Book Review, despite having done virtually nothing in her life as a writer or editor, and there being no indication at all that she has a shred of ability. Here's the press release for that in which we can see that The New York Times doesn't know how the word "unique" works. Why would you? It's only basic English. Can't qualify that word. Stein's sister, Anna, is a literary agent.

This is how all of this tends to be.

Many publishing people knew about Stein and ran cover for him, or certainly didn't say anything. As we've proven time and again, next to nothing is published in these places because anyone ever thought it was any good. Sometimes it's classism, sometimes it's skin color, gender, other times it's cronyism, and it can be a combo, and other times it's who lets you put it in them. But it is almost never the quality of the work. I put it that way rather than say never, because there's me, and I want to at least allow for there being someone else, but I don't see it. I'd send Stein these remarkable stories, but I offered him no desirable orifices and I certainly wasn't in his crowd. Stein's middle name is Hollister, by the way. These people are born pretentious.

Stein can't get work now, unless he's hooked up, which, then again, was also how it always was, but the spirit of the hook up is different.

People knew what he was doing before. Allison Wright--lovely person--of the VQR joked to me after with words to the effect that she and many others knew that Stein was out there doing Stein things. She could have come forward. But nah. Then the person gets exposed, and the same people who were okay with the evil behavior keep their distance.

On February 1, Washington Square News published a piece saying that Stein, who had been hired to teach a graduate journalism class at NYU, then had that class cancelled due to people raising concerns about what I've just mentioned.

And because I know every last thing about how these people think, what they're about, what they rely on, I knew that Stein had been hired in the first place because someone hooked him up. They don't earn anything. They can't. But someone he'd done things for tried to do something for him. I didn't know who, though. But I knew that's what had happened, because that's the only way anything happens for these people, and this guy is vile. Then again, he's no more vile than most of them. He was just exposed in a public way. As we've said, they can't fit any clothes in their closets for all of the skeletons and fresh bodies there.

Well, this morning I see that The Daily Beast has learned that it was Katie Roiphe who, in their words, was "directly responsible for the hiring of Stein." She's a "culture critic," which usually translates to person who knows nothing about anything who is given opportunity to write because of their connections at the most surface of surface levels, and who played a large role in getting former Harper's editor in chief James Marcus fired. Marcus, at that time, had just published a short story of mine called "Find the Edges." Marcus is not one of these people. He is someone who thinks about what it means to do the right thing. Marcus was ordered to publish a Roiphe piece. Roiphe was brought in by Harper's' publicist. Think about that. An editor in chief essentially reported in this instance to a publicist as editor. Marcus, understandably, wanted nothing to do with Roiphe's writing and her piece (which, regarding Stein, essentially ran, "Eh, you know, it's not that bad, these things get overstated"). Marcus was fired, and then in came Christopher Beha as the new editor in chief.

Ah, Beha. (We should have a nice prose off with Beha's own fiction, too, I think.)

It's almost humorous how sickening this stuff always is, isn't it?

But that's how Roiphe operates. Gross gross gross. So of course she--as the director of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program at NYU, who is free to hire whom she pleases sans committee review--hired Lorin Stein, who was her editor at The Paris Review. Because that's how it works. You know this. Stein, in keeping with our theme of "of course that happened" had praised a 2016 book by Roiphe as "a revelation." We're always talking the same patterns of behavior.

"I can hook you up, Lorin."

These people, right?

You see why a number of them are throwing thousands of dollars at the problem in order to keep Google from pulling up search results that include their name and this site.

Remember, too, when I said this praise is so fake that it's as if it could come from someone who reviews car washes, restaurants, and books and they just swap in the same shopworn panegyrics from one to another? "A revelation." Meaninglessness that could apply to anything in this BS way. "That new kitty litter was a revelation!"

At the end of these kinds of articles, you'll see things like, "Lorin Stein, Katie Roiphe, and NYU didn't respond when asked for comment."

Ha. Gee. I wonder why. What's Lorin Stein going to do? Defend himself and his actions? What's Sigrid Rausing going to do? Cry "Motorollah!"? What can any of them do, really? They hope things don't get too bad or no one notices.


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