Mark Budman

Mark Budman
May 31
Mark Budman was born in the former Soviet Union. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such magazines as Huffington Post, World Literature Today, Daily Science Fiction, Mississippi Review, Virginia Quarterly, The London Magazine (UK), McSweeney's, Sonora Review, Another Chicago, Sou'wester, Southeast Review, Mid-American Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, the W.W. Norton anthology Flash Fiction Forward, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure, Short Fiction(UK), and elsewhere. He is the publisher of a flash fiction magazine Vestal Review. His novel My Life at First Try was published by Counterpoint Press to wide critical acclaim. He co-edited flash fiction anthologies from Ooligan Press and Persea Books/Norton. He is at work at his novel about Lenin running for the president of the United States.


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APRIL 20, 2012 6:11PM

E. L. James. Time’s Most Influential Disgrace

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E. L. James, a.k.a. Erika Leonard, an author, has been selected as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. This is a disgrace to authors everywhere. In the special article of Time, Belinda Luscombe calls her “erotica’s new heroine.” If a mass-producer of “mommy porn” can be a heroine, then E. L. James would do just fine.

I wonder if the consumers of her steamy junk can “find their release” by reading something both steamy AND literary? Sex and eloquent writing are not mutually exclusive.

I don’t doubt that E. L. James is influential. But her influence degrades not only literature but also her readers, those “many, many mothers.” In the same article, Ms. Luscombe writes: “Reading may never be the same.” Yes, reading may never be the same quality again.

Here are a few gems:

“Why don’t you like to be touched?”
”Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

  “Laters, baby.”
  E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

 “Don’t get your panties in such a twist... and give me back mine.”
  E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

Do you really need an MFA to realize that “I’m going to take you from behind” signals trash and ineptitude? 

After all, there are hundreds of thousands new book titles published in the US each year, let alone old and proven books to choose from, many of them with fine description of love and sex. A well-written book would really “push you, higher, higher to the castle in the air” instead of throwing you down into a puddle. "Oh, yes."

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