There is a literary establishment, who go to some length to insist they are not insular and ‘art first’ and all that, but, well, that’s just bollocks isn’t it. It makes me think of a literary washing machine, where the same authors are thrown inside and there they are, going around and around. I want to like the Guardian’s books section but it is like a tribute to the same people again and again. For example, they’ve recently run another piece on Phillip Roth on why he isn’t writing any more:
… an article in a literary section of a national that is all about what a writer hasn’t written. Huh? How the fuck does that work? You don’t get food critics reviewing a meal a top chef didn’t make. The establishment seems so entrenched in promoting the same people that they feature writers in their mutual appreciation club who have no desire to write ever again… well, that isn’t writing is it. There are literally millions of people in the public eye with no intention of writing a book, lets hope they all don’t get featured too. It is the same old faces, Franzen, Mantel, Roth, and Will Self, who mostly reads like a random word generator, along with a crew of others. Could you imagine what porn would be like if it was only ever the same old people featured? Those that kicked off the once liberal porn movement in the 70′s and were now decrying digital. Folk in their late sixties grunting like a troll and so wrinkled you couldn’t tell what was testicle and what was face, all hunched over and support stockings. Porn, not that I am an avid fan, does have a policy of highlighting new young talent. And I can understand why. If for instance I made a sex tape now, it would be horrific, I’m almost forty four. I’m not saying I’m out of shape but me in my twenties would be more attractive and dynamic, now my gut would fall over my partner so that you couldn’t tell where on ended and the other began, like conjoined twins. My sex tape now would contain coughing, moans and two ugly messes violently slapping together, reminiscent of elephant seals mating on the shore of Alaska. However, young talent there is no doubt would look better. And there is plenty of young talent in literature. Mind you, those literary elite, I have it in my head they are freaks and in some Masonic sex cartel, you can bet they lie in a bath pissing on each other, Franzen wouldn’t be able to get hard so insists Mantel pisses on his face.
I’m not for one saying the legends aren’t important, but I don’t want to see the ever limited media space dedicated to what isn’t written when it could be a platform for what’s new and for voices that deserve the spotlight. The way this establishment go on about the same people reminds me of those people who believe the world was created in 7 days. I want to show them a fossil and say ‘fossil’ and if they keep talking about ‘seven days’, I’d beat them to death with it.
Also, there is this love for books that are difficult. Murkami’s IQ84 for example. People say “Oh, it’s hard going, it’s tough on you but afterwords it is worth it.” I don’t want to read a book that sounds like a course of chemotherapy. I recently tried to read IQ84, and I had to at one point check the page numbers, I thought the spine had broken and at one point all the pages fell out and were scooped back in in a random order. There is this strange desire to push books that are difficult, and people read them to say they’ve read them. It’s a bit like the salad that comes with the pizza, you didn’t order the salad, just that someone thinks you should eat it. I have no idea why Palahniuk doesn’t get more acclaim from the literary world, they keep pushing shit like Will Self on you. What I know for sure is, I love pizza and love my books like pizza. I’ve never fallen out of a club and said ‘Man, I could murder a salad’, I’ve never said while hungry ‘I neeeed salad?’ And if you order a salad at a restaurant, there isn’t a little pizza on the side. So I say to the literary world, stop forcing your salad on me… me and pizza want to be alone. I want books I enjoy, pizza books, I don’t want a book to be work, I’ve already got work.
I have no idea what I’m on about now…