In the fifth episode of ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’, Libby shared a little about her role model, Archer Sylvan, whose books have often helped her and Toby cope with life. The character is played by Christian Slater.
Back in the day, when Libby was quite ambitious about her career as a writer, she started working at a men’s magazine where her favorite author, Archer Sylvan, worked.
Archer Sylvan was considered to be their magazine’s marquee writer, responsible for writing bombastic and wild stories. These stories often stopped the world for a week when they were published.
‘The Heart is a Lonely Dinner’ was Sylvan’s most famous work. He won a National Magazine Award for that story, which was also a Pulitzer finalist.
The controversial phase in the life of Archer Sylvan
Libby’s favorite book written by Sylvan is ‘Decoupling’. It chronicles a year in the life of a divorced man in 1979. Archer was a beloved writer, but as the years went by, he became the subject of a number of controversies.
Sylvan wrote ‘Decoupling’ about a man’s divorce, and he only cared to interview the man in the marriage. He completely ignored the woman, and for that, the critics took a shot at him.
Back in time, he wasn’t questioned for his sexist behavior, but over the years, the world evolved, and his audiences condemned him. Some of the lines in the book that are now considered unspeakable were edited out of the later editions of his books.
Libby forgave everything. She looked past the sexism and counted the good aspects of his work. Time went by, and people began forgetting Sylvan, but the magazine kept him around. They continued celebrating his success.
Libby, on the other hand, waited for her next big story until she realized how biased her magazine is toward female writers. She eventually quit her job.
Today, Libby’s friend and the lead protagonist of the show, Toby, is struggling with his divorce as his wife, Rachel, has completely abandoned him and their kids.
To calm himself down and to kill time, he often opts to read Archer Sylvan’s ‘Decoupling’. He once spent time in the library to read Sylvan’s book, only to realize that not everyone is a fan of that writer anymore.