The literary lion with the wild white hair is joining The Atlantic Monthly magazine as a contributing editor and critic-at-large. Isn’t Atlantic Monthly an august monthly rag?
What’s up with this hiring of a Back-to-the-Future Eric Stoltz lookalike for a prestigious title? Desperation? Nope. It’s Leon Weiseltier, former three-decades long literary editor of The New Republic, which self-imploded during the editorial reign of terror of Chris Hughes, an accidental kid multimillionaire with zany ideas. One, briefly, being magazines of opinion and literary ambition ought to make money. So he wants to “brand” TNR and turn it into a “vertically integrated multimedia company.” What a dope!
Anyhow, Weiseltier is considered the last remaining man of letters–(Oh, what a fuss is made of the man of letters: from Samuel Johnson to Lionel Trilling (he!—always, he!) has a notable distinction for being perennially in danger of extinction)–who writes long, bibulous, pretentious, nearly coherent, often surprising exegeses on things, for example, like “Public Reason.” Weiseltier’s genuine distinction is making the republic of letters humorless, god-awful priggish, and reflexively elitist. Still, he’s keeping the barbarians from crashing into the small civilization of literary life with his fine-tuned snobbery, immense learning, and energetic exertion of his unyielding literary pronounciamentos. So carry on!