Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Clown Show Must Go On

I'm almost finished with Sari Nusseibeh's memoir, Once Upon a Country, I'll try to post a review of it in the next week or so. I can't resist, though, calling attention to this bit of typical Peretzian assholery:

I watched Nusseibeh, so to speak, write the book while he was in Cambridge at the Radcliffe Institute. Well, he didn't exactly write the book alone...and the title page doesn't pretend that he did. And I didn't literally watch him. His co-author was a man called Anthony David, a ghost-writer who followed him around Harvard taking notes. James Boswell to Dr. Johnson. Can't a real intellectual produce his own books?

Indeed, one could ask of Peretz: Can't a real intellectual produce books? Or are "real intellectuals" too busy spending their wives' money to indulge their obsessive anti-Arab bigotry? Needless to say, it's not uncommon for political figures to employ ghostwriters to help them compile and write their memoirs, so Peretz's catty insult would be ridiculous even if Peretz had ever written a book himself.