Medium Cool 

James Wolcott on lowbrow vs. highbrow, common sense and his first novel, The Catsitters

Wednesday, Jun 27 2001

Page 6 of 6

Do you ever feel bad about past remarks?

I thought I was much too personally severe with Michael Kinsley when I wrote about Slate. I was a little rough there. I feel bad that Pauline Kael took it as deeply as she did, because we’re all independent critics, we‘re all strong-willed critics, and it’s not as if Pauline hasn‘t had scrapes with her friends before, a lot worse than this. So, I regret it, but if that’s how it plays out I‘m not going to change it. If you start pulling your punches in advance, that’s deadly. So I don‘t try to go out of my way to be nasty, but at the same, a lot of times I think, “Okay, I’m just going to say it, and if the person gets upset, they get upset.”

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