Miscellaneous Memoranda

John Banville provoked a lot of responses, most of them derisive, when he said in an interview about his new memoir, ‘I was not a good father. I don’t think any writer is.’ As Joanne Harris said, ‘Not only is Banville’s claim ludicrous, it reinforces the myth that women can’t be Proper Writers because of all the Caring they have to do.’ I especially liked Julian Gough’s response in The Irish Times, which discusses the ‘historical cultural catastrophe’ that bent many Irish men ‘brutally out of shape’ but expresses hope about the new generation of male writers.

I also enjoyed this article by Matthew Gallaway, in which six writers discuss book covers and blurbs in an very entertaining fashion, and this short piece by Christie Nieman on the joys of ‘quiet’ Young Adult novels.

In more depressing news, Stealing Books in the Age of Self-Publishing explains that “in the world of self-publishing, where anyone can put a document on Amazon and call it a book, many writers are seeing their work being appropriated without their permission”, with enterprising plagiarists getting rich and escaping punishment. And even if you don’t get plagiarised, there are plenty of other “spiky little soul-destroying aspects of the business” of literature, says Krissy Kneen, who is suffering from Mid-Career Malaise.

This is probably an appropriate place to quote NOT A WOLF, who is definitely not a wolf pretending to be a man:


However, there are hopes that the new Australian Senate will refuse to pass the government’s proposed legislation to abolish territorial copyright.

And if you’re in a French railway station, you now have easy access to stories via vending machines that ‘dispense short stories printed on paper — for free — with passengers able to choose a story of either one, three or five “minutes” in length’.

2 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Memoranda”

  1. I’m sure loads of other people have already done this (or a more efficient equivalent) but I have left a message for Judy via the infallible medium of Facebook. Hope it helps.

    1. Thanks so much, Kate! I’ll remove that part of the post so Judith isn’t inundated with even more messages. (This is probably a sign that I should be on Facebook or Twitter or something, isn’t it?)

      EDITED TO ADD: Oops, I removed my contact details, which are here.

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