Kael vs. Adler Revisited


July 21, 2011 by admin

From New York magazine, August 11, 1980

The rest of [Adler’s] essay is consumed with relentless, lawyerly citations of Kael’s alleged critical sins, argued with the fervor of a causist possessed. A 1979 graduate of Yale Law School, the 41-year-old reporter laboured on the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment staff and secretly wrote speeches for Chairman Rodino. Kael, in a sense, became her Nixon.

3 thoughts on “Kael vs. Adler Revisited

  1. Phil says:

    I don’t think I’ve read this…I’ve read the long Adler piece where she attacks Kael, but not someone else’s assessment of their skirmish. Looks great–there’s a political piece in the same issue that I want to read too.

  2. s woods says:

    I would also direct you to this, Phil:


    I thought the original Adler piece was online, but I couldn’t find it. I was going to call it one of the great critical feuds of our time, but Kael clearly wasn’t going to be drawn in. (The picture of her in that article is classic. Very Jane Jacobs!)

  3. Daniel says:

    Pauline Kael gave herself completely to films, bringing it her imagination and intellect, passion and humor…It would have been interesting if Garner had tried to account for his original hostility to Kael. At least he admits that it was complicated and originated within himself more than with her work…




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