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The James Franco Problem

James FrancoJames Franco has been turning up in the fiction section of various magazines and websites over the past year, and it’s a problem. It’s not a problem that he’s an actor, or that he’s handsome, or rich. The problem is that his work sucks, and it was being an actor, handsome, and rich that led to his recent run of publications.

  • He’s had fiction in Esquire.
  • He’s had fiction in McSweeney’s.
  • He’s been writing reviews [Review 1] [Review 2] in The Paris Review blog.
  • He read something on video for The Paris Review blog. In his bed. (Because Lorin Stein loves to be faux-naughty, anything that contains the slightest hint of sex is embraced at TPR.)
  • He published a short story collection with a non-indie press.
  • It's well-known that he got a MFA at Columbia and is pursuing a Ph.D. at Yale.

[To read more about how The Paris Review loves Cronyism, Nepotism and Sex, click here.]

I don’t have anything against James Franco personally, though I suspect the guy is due for a major embarrassing scandal, given all of the attention that’s been paid to him and the extent to which he seems to over-extend himself. But my scandal theory, why the hell is he showing up in the fiction section of these magazines?

Is he any good? Is that why James Franco is taking up real estate in these popular magazines?

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