Ever since I read Renata Adler’s description of Adam Gopnik as a thrusting young careerist in Here But Not Here, her memoir of the last days, as she saw it, of The New Yorker, I’ve considered him guilty until proven innocent. It saves time. Reading Paris To The Moon, his book about living in Paris with children who are in elementary school, I noted that the words cahier and cartable and tablier d’ecolier never appear.
But this piece, by Gopnik, about those who, such as Peter Carey (who denounced French “arrogance,” and French culture sensu lato) and Deborah Eisenberg (whose self-conscious Declaration of My Grand Refusal to Attend ends with this comical self-description: “Deborah Eisenberg. Jew. Atheist”) are boycotting the PEN dinner, is good.