Friday, October 06, 2006

From the Priest Hole

When Jonathan Franzen published his bestselling novel The Corrections, readers wondered how much it owed to his own life.
This reader wonders instead if mainstream British literary journalists have ever thought about changing the fucking tune?


  1. Ha! I almost choked on my Frosties (cereal).

  2. Since when has Zoe Williams been a literary journalist? She's a lifestyle drone, attempting to blag it.

    Wonder whether Lunar Park did her head in.

  3. Well she probably didn't write the intro line that I quoted, so I assumed that was done by someone in the books section who is a literary journalist.

    It's an interesting interview actually (particularly in the paragraph where Franzen mentions Kafka). I don't have a problem with that.

  4. Anonymous10:31 pm

    If you knew anything about newspapers (and your occasional TLS mini-reviews don't count), you'd know a sub would have written the standfirst.

    In your comment you retract the substance of the charge made in your post. So why don't you delete the "fucking" post?

  5. I don't retract anything. If you knew anything about reading you'd realise I was referring only to the intro NOT the interview. Whoever wrote is a literary journalist by virtue of having written it. (Jeez, why do I have to explain everything to the thickoes at the back?)

    And I don't care if I know nothing about newspapers (What's a "standfirst" FFS?). My reviews for the TLS (does a 600-1200 word reviews count as mini in your neck of the literary woods? If so you must tell us all where we can find such an arcadia!) are commissioned because I'm interested in literature not gossip about the author.

  6. Anonymous10:00 pm

    "Whoever wrote is a literary journalist by virtue of having written it."

    What reasoning! "Literary journalist" is a meaningless phrase if you're right ...

    And *you* clearly can't read, as it's obvious from my comment that I'm referring to what you call the "intro" and not the piece proper. The "standfirst", dear boy, is that bit, usually in bigger print, which precedes and introduces an article (clear enough for you?). And it's almost never written by the person who writes the piece itself.

    Goodness me, the TLS are "commissioning" you are they? Or are you writing begging letters to Lindsay Duguid, pleading her to let you review the latest translated mediocrity from Dalkey Archive? You really don't know how ludicrously Pooterish you sound.

  7. Anonymous10:02 pm

    "Pleading WITH..." before you seize on it.

  8. Excuse me Anonymous (so many of you about, those of us with names have to watch where we tread), but your words were:

    "In your comment you retract the substance of the charge made in your post. So why don't you delete the "fucking" post?"

    It's clear you're assuming my comment about the main body of the feature also applies to the intro.

    But you are right, the TLS "are" not commissioning me. It is. From the start I was invited to review something, and despite my pooterish preoccupations ("literature"), they've asked me back five times. Heaven knows why.

    Of course, I'm delighted whenever it asks me to review something. A translation from DA would be right up my street.

    Talking of which, have you any mediocrities in mind, or are you just making lazy, unsubstantiated claims as you go along? If so, why do take your job home with you?



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