9780300167122

Just Words : Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy, and the Failure of Public Conversation in America

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780300167122

  • ISBN10:

    0300167121

  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2011-06-28
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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Summary

In an appearance onThe Dick Cavett Showin 1980, the critic Mary McCarthy glibly remarked that every word author Lillian Hellman wrote was a lie, "including 'and' and 'the.'" Hellman immediately filed a libel suit, charging that McCarthy's comment was not a legitimate conversation on public issues but an attack on her reputation. This intriguing book offers a many-faceted examination of Hellman's infamous suit and explores what it tells us about tensions between privacy and self-expression, freedom and restraint in public language, and what can and cannot be said in public in America.

Author Biography

Alan Ackerman is associate professor of English, University of Toronto, where he specializes in modern drama and American literature. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Libel and Life-Writingp. 25
Language Lessonsp. 67
Words of Lovep. 117
Choice Words and Political Dramasp. 184
Criticism versus Libelp. 250
Conclusionp. 293
Notesp. 305
Indexp. 342
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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