Monday, 13 October 2008

A Propos Literary Festivals...

At the risk of offending all literature lovers, festival and domestic ones, I can honestly say that a broken-down engine and a couple of punctured tires would have elicited as much approbation on my part as did the sound of the Cheltenham Literature Festival on my automobile’s BBC Radio Four. It was a supreme example of total bullshit.

Reviewers, at their best are vacuous debaters, at their worst gormless wafflers. Stupidity is the norm. To be perfectly frank, though, that's not saying much. In fact, I find it harder to cope with their tone than their thoughts, or what one might describe as the pretension to profundity inherent in the literary festival philosophy. Zest for depth can replace sanity, affectation turn into obsession. The urban grace they call sophistication is merely a form of senescence. In truth, to hear some of these alleged authors utter their samples of mingled sophistry and
trash, never fails to leave an indelible impression on my mind. And if I do not
quote directly from that twaddle here, it is because I threw it up.

My own book was never reviewed, but that is hardly surprising. Few
reviewers have heard of it and, in any case, I was never invited. In fact, I
shall endeavour to write a book that will help concerned researchers become
seriously acquainted with the problem of literary nausea. Its effect
precipitates the slow but progressive chemical changes usually found in those
suffering with severe depression. The gloominess, in my own case, was extreme
and the nausea indescribable. Eventually, of course, mental atrophy catches up
with everyone of us, and declines is irreversible.

Plainly, all this has to stop!

If you lose interest in books, you know something is seriously amiss.
And I need to get the hell out of here, or better still, launch my own heretical
movement and establish a new school of literary criticism. In fact, I can see a
new genre emerging: chronicles of flight from literary communities. Shut up!
Drop dead! Get lost!
I don't want literary guidance. I just want to read my
books, quietly, and in peaceful solitude.

Hence, it is with little affection and no gratitude that I acknowledge
The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival for its assistance in the preparation
and execution of this post. You will do me but justice in believing me to be,
with the utmost sincerity and disrespect, &c., &c.



Bob said...

What is the name of the book?

Bob said...

I mean the one that you already wrote.

Selena Dreamy said...


Richard Havers said...

It was a bit like Portillo on BBC Breakfast this morning talking, as chair of the Booker judges.....oh dear.

Selena Dreamy said...

...hope you managed to keep your breakfast down!