Friday, January 06, 2006

You may have heard about this contrived piece of nonsense in which journalists mocked up a couple of Booker winning novels as manuscripts and sent them to literary agents and publishers. The agents and publishers duly rejected them, thereby "proving" that the "industry has become incapable of spotting genuine literary talent". While perfectly willing to accept that the publishing industry does suck, I can't help but agree with those who point out that the chosen authors (V.S. Naipaul and Stanley Middleton - whoever he is) hardly lend great credibility to the experiment.
V. S. Naipaul is a boring author and I have never, ever, ever heard a real person speak with excitement about one of his books. I've cracked a couple open myself, and the stuff is instant sleep.
About as spot-on an assessment of Sir Vidia as I've ever read. His brother Shiva, who died aged forty in 1985, was however a very real talent, a kind of Trinidadian Evelyn Waugh whose work is pretty much unknown these days.

Still, the "establishment" response has been predictably, well, snarky. In a counter-counter-attack, The Reading Experience busts a cap in the industry's ass:
Your bad faith is conspicuous. If your allegiance to capitalism supersedes your allegiance to literary values, just admit it.
Fight, fight fight!


At 11:26 PM, Blogger JPW said...

That sounds like the Sokal hoax. Only, retarded, because the Sokal hoax was actually amusing.


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