Spellin and granmah…

Posted: November 10, 2011 in Publishing

Oh, funny times. Honestly, all the shit I’ve caused with the pre-launch of ‘Malice in Blunderland’ hasn’t been deliberate. There isn’t some strategy in place. But, I guess I have made myself a target from some of the lofty establishment in book land. I’m like that uncle that touches the kids at the family party. Nobody is comfortable with me being there. So it was funny that a book person, who will remain nameless, gave a savage review to Malice in Blunderland. Sighting the errors within it, the spelling and  grammar. To which, Josh at Cutting Edge Press pointed out the large, full page warning, in very big letters, that the spelling and grammar errors are deliberate.

I don’t think it helped that I suggested, as I’m being cast as the ‘Dark Lord’ of literature, and the guy giving me shit is the ‘White Wizard’ of good literature, that we should get our cocks out and touch tips. To see if some magic happens. He didn’t find it funny. He didn’t get the spelling stuff. It was too irritating for him. And that is exactly the point.

Who said literature shouldn’t shock, or disturb. Or even irritate. You know when you are on a train, or out some place and you happen upon an argument. You can’t help but listen. Same with a guy falling out with a partner on the phone, something within you wants to hover and ingest the drama. I want ‘Malice’ to be as if you’ve found someone’s diary on a park bench. Within it spews the darkest, most intimate, personal thoughts. Written in the heat of the moment. Voyeuristic and intimate. Unpolished, unedited, with all the raw jaggy sharp edges. As if you some how found yourself inside the head of a guy in melt down, vision and competence obscured by drugs, pain and exhaustion.  I want it to feel like you are picking at scabs, causing irritation. An exact correlation between the voice and it’s narrative. Like Burgess with Clockwork Orange and Welsh’s Trainspotting.

Turns out, this particular critic didn’t like trainspotting either. Well then, why read Malice in Blunderland? If you know you won’t like it, why read it. His justification to one point was Trainspotting was dramatic, not funny. What? Trainspotting was very funny. Who said dumb as fuck or funny can’t have hidden depths. It’s like finding out the prostitute you’ve hired is doing it to buy baby formula. But, if you have to explain that, then, who ever is reading it is missing the point. The academic, didn’t like it that he didn’t get it. Oh well. Like I give a fuck.
I’m lucky to work with Paul and Josh, two very smart and informed (and patient) guys at Cutting Edge Press. We have had long debates about the spelling and grammar, and what our aim was. It is a brave decision by them to run with it, as ultimately, it looks as though they didn’t do their job to those who can’t read the initial warning or get it. But, those who get it, seem to love it.

That is why publishing, for me, is alive. Independent publishers, self publishers, brave bold work. Trying new things, small run publishing to specific groups. I have read more freakish things and amazing work, like King Kong Theory by Virginie Despentes. It is a brave publisher who wants to deal out my shit.

Have a peek – get offended

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