Friday, May 04, 2007

Personal development.

A short while ago, the mighty Yorkshire Pudding made a comment, comparing me to Simon Armitage, and refusing to state whether this was a good thing or bad, and inviting me to make up my own mind. Rightly or wrongly, I took this to mean it was an insult!!

Rol came along, and stated that he felt it was a compliment of the highest order.

I am an ignorant bugger sometimes, and indeed, I often tend to form opinions about things I know feck all about. It's a nasty quality that I possess. I seem to remember reading some of Simon's work in "The Examiner" - Our local Huddersfield based rag. That was all I knew, and I hadn't much cared for it.

Anyhoo.....

Cutting to the chase..... Whilst house-sitting at mum's a week or two ago, I spotted the book "All Points North" and in order to broaden my horizons, began to read.

Well, I've finished the book now, and although there are several more books I should be reading before forming my opinion, I have already decided.......

1) I've enjoyed reading it.
2) I don't think that referring to yourself in the third person (if that's the right term) really makes someone a literary genius.
3) Omitting the words "the" and "and" and "a" does not turn a piece of writing into a poem (in my humble opinion).
4) I felt in parts that the author was trying to sell me a script, namely the Jerusalem thing.... I just didn't think it fitted into the book at all.
5) Some of it was very funny.

One thing I noticed whilst reading the book, and something which troubles me..... The experiences and stories of being in and around Huddersfield come as no great surprise to me. The beliefs and values that are being written about, are generally those of everyone in Colne Valley, and are well observed. I am frustrated by the simplicity of it all.

Imagine my mother and me, walking round the Tate Gallery.... Upon seeing a pile of bricks, the conversation would go something like......

"Look at that, that's not art. I bet you like it don't you?"
"Mum, it's art. It is no more or less valid than a bloody Van Gogh."
"So you like it?"
"I have no feelings about it either way, other than the fact that it is stirring some emotion in you and provoking conversation between us, and therefore it MUST be art."
"Well, I could have done that."
"Yes mum, of course you could have done it, more importantly you didn't do it and someone else did."
"Well it's rubbish"

End of conversation.

In the Simon Armitage context, I am very much in my mother's role.... but I CAN see that I have no position from which to criticise, as indeed, someone else did it, and I didn't.

If a publisher ever described my book like this "The specifications for the books are high -beautifully produced, they all have flaps and are sewn and printed in Italy" - I think I'd be looking for a new publisher!!

You look across the table at the nicotine lozenge that's been lying there for three days now. It wouldn't hurt to eat it, but you've done so well, and decide to have a smint instead. In twenty years you've never done a day without nicotine, and now you've done three.

You read back through your blog entry, and wish you'd sent it to a publisher instead of letting every man and his dog read it already.

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