Literati smackdown!

Filed under: News — marcia at 12:25 pm on Tuesday, July 31, 2007

So, we* knew we’d be sorry that we didn’t go to the “Literary Death Match” recently held in San Francisco.

I usually get something out of the readings and literary panels that I go to – sometimes inspiration, sometimes a good laugh that I have to hold in until I’m a polite distance from the event. But I have never been to one that erupted into multigenerational violence.

One of the judges, Howard Junker of Zyzzyva, said that Stephen Elliott of McSweeney’s “had no literary merit” as a writer. Later, Elliott threw beer on Junker! Yowza.

Elliott’s response:

“I don’t understand why Junker left last night,” said Elliott the next day. “I had a shirt in my bag he could have borrowed.”

You can read the sordid details here. And you can read about the time Howard Junker threw a book at my head here.

Update: Junker blogs his side of the story here.

*Self-conscious footnote: We = Joy and me; I do not use the royal we to refer to myself


Comment by howard junker

July 31, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

I SUPPOSE you’re entitled to feel gleeful about someone throwing beer at me, but you might at least point to my blog, where i give my version of this unfortunate incident:


Comment by marcia

July 31, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

Thanks for linking to your side of the story. I don’t think pouring a drink on someone is appropriate behavior in any situation, let alone yours. I hoped that was something that could go without saying. When I quoted Elliott’s response, I thought it made him look so bad that I didn’t even need to draw any conclusions because there was no other conclusion one could draw.

Was I fascinated that something juicy happened? Definitely. I wouldn’t characterize that as glee, though it is gossipy to be sure.


Comment by Todd Zuniga

July 31, 2007 @ 10:54 pm

As a response to Howard’s blog: art is certainly not a competition, but at Opium we’re trying to make literary events, and literature matter in a new and compelling way. Of course people read, but the sheer amount of entertainment now is staggering. We care about words, and literature endlessly. Men in the ’60s used to read novels, now they play video games.

Our format is intended to be making fun of itself the entire time, a sort of Vik Muniz-style visual trick, one that puts butts in the seats to see a “death match” but ends up showcasing really wonderful literature to an audience–some of who might otherwise look the other way.

Todd Zuniga

Comment by Joy

August 1, 2007 @ 9:39 am

I would think that anyone who submits himself to a “literary death match” would be prepared to take some criticism. I’m surprised that Elliott, who I hear has lived a tough life of some sort, is so thin-skinned.

Regardless, the Word Pirates are totally going to the next death match. We like our literary functions to be exciting.

Comment by juicer reviews 2014

August 7, 2014 @ 11:46 pm

great issues altogether, you simply received a emblem
new reader. What could you recommend about your put
up that you simply made a few days in the past? Any sure?

Comment by

August 23, 2014 @ 9:40 pm

For the interest of creating a relevant product comparisons, we
have looked at routers in this variety that discuss similar
attributes for example IEEE 802.11n Wi-Fi standards, 2.4-ghz band and double antennas.
Nothing significantly less than an n layer 3 switch is highly recommended, if you are looking for a
new router. It will be advisable to update to some radio n router, if you have a wireless g router.
The hottest routers additionally increase speed with
Wi-Fi Quality of Support software (QoS) standard,
which makes efficient use of Ethernet connections by
prioritizing multimedia traffic according to the program’s sensitivity to
delay. Many wireless n routers also use multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) radio antennae to
boost speeds.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>