Phi Beta Cons

Erica Jong Diplomacy

Last year, Erica Jong decided to give her papers to Columbia. Here is an excerpt of the press release:

“The addition of Erica Jong’s papers to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library is yet another example of her unwavering dedication to imparting not only her gifts as a writer but also her wisdom and life experiences as a mentor and educator,” said Judith R. Shapiro, President of Barnard College. “We are proud that she is part of Barnard’s tradition of great writers, and even more proud that she has chosen to give back and actively influence future generations of novelists, poets, and essayists who will most certainly benefit from her frank, lively, and eloquent memoirs.”

And here is a recent specimen of Jong’s wisdom and life experience, a post at Huffington Post on Jeremiah Wright and on a talk she gave in Italy:

Wright seems utterly sincere to me. He strikes me as having a true spiritual calling. When he says, “America’s chickens have come home to roost,” I can’t fault his logic. Haven’t we been squandering hard earned taxpayer money on overseas adventures while we starve poor children? Haven’t we been supporting dictators while prating of democracy? Haven’t we been enriching profiteers at the expense of health care and education? You betcha.
A week ago I told my audience in Rome that in the last several years, I’ve been ashamed to be an American. A cheer went up from the amphitheater. It was such a relief, audience members later told me, to hear an American speak the truth for a change.

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