I see this as almost a confession—or at least, that's how the Times article means it, I think. The respect that people steal from each other. A game that Dawn and Larson play: one worships, the other is worshipped.Still, they’re not so different, Rose and Chuntao. “I think they both confuse love with worship,” Larson told me. “And they both see love as something they have to go get; it doesn’t already exist inside of them.” All through “The Kindest,” love or validation operates almost like a commodity — a precious elixir that heals all pain. “The thing about the dying,” Chuntao narrates toward the end, “is they command the deepest respect, respect like an underground river resonant with primordial sounds, the kind of respect that people steal from one another.”
It won’t come as a surprise to most people—though it did to me—that in conflicts like this, the better-liked person, or more generally the person with more social cachet, tends to come out on top, no matter the actual events that transpired. Like Tolentino, Larson had people around her—the people she texted with to complain about Dorland. Like Nicholas Rombre, the poet in question, Dorland was alone. The roles of writer and subject matter less than the statuses of well-liked and unknown. So it was when the much-wealthier Chrissy Teigen got food writer Alison Roman suspended from The New York Times for critical comments about how Teigen had developed her income stream. Like Larson, who is half-Asian, Teigen accused Roman of imbuing her comments with some sort of racial overtone; like Larson, she was able to frame her success and interpersonal viciousness as politically courageous.
Yeah, they're both clowns, but you get the sense Larson is a smooth-operating borderline-mean girl, while Dawn is needy-confused but ultimately sincere
That snarky parenthetical. The Times author is vicious, but subtly, presenting only the facts (and a tidal wave of implicature). You hate when it's mobilized against your own; you love when it's mobilized against others.“What do you think we owe one another as writers in community?” she would wonder in an email, several months later, to The Times’s “Dear Sugars” advice podcast. (The show never responded.) “How does a writer like me, not suited to jadedness, learn to trust again after artistic betrayal?”
they really do write in the language of couples therapists don't theyI see this as almost a confession—or at least, that's how the Times article means it, I think. The respect that people steal from each other. A game that Dawn and Larson play: one worships, the other is worshipped.
Trying to think what else is in this genreMight read this if it's not long, can't be as bad as that "cat person" story