Sunday, September 10, 2006
The Sunday Times has gone up to £2, but you got a Jimi Hendrix CD with it; yesterday and today's Telegraph's gave you CDs of the Royal Philharmonic; the Independent is papering my wall with lovely RSPB bird charts (today: wetland birds); and the quirky French animation Belleville Rendezvous was free in the Times yesterday. I passed on the Daily Mail's "Life on Earth". Newspapers are clearly an effective distribution medium; but it's getting ridiculous! I've got about 30 unwatched 3 DVDs and its an increasingly highbrow collection. The Guardian sticks to what it knows best; additional supplements and serialisations. I quite like the Observer's weekly magazines, when its Food, Sport and Music, but give the Womens magazine a miss, and look what the other papers have to offer; and the daily Guardian comes up with more posters (mushrooms anyone?) and little guides, like Best Walks, and the new Premiership season. With so much choice, an offer that doesn't appeal is as likely to make me not read the paper. I was utterly put off reading the Guardian because of it's big Bill Bryson feature, maybe I'm just not interested in a childhood in Des Moines; and if I was I could wait for the book, or even watch tonight's South Bank Show. The Booker Prize shortlist will be announced on Thursday 14th September, but before then it's wall-to-wall 9/11 retrospectives, and the troubling figure, from the Independent, that it's best estimate of deaths caused by the response to 9/11 is 62, 006. And on Wednesday Manchester United play Celtic in the first group match of the Champions League. Incredibly its their first ever competitive game. Literature gets a rare football connection with David Peace's new novel, The Damned United, which dramatises Brian Clough's 44 day reign at Leeds United. It's likely that my next project will be a novel about football - though that's merely the context to bring the characters together - so, I'm interested in seeing an actual football novel; there's not been that many. Andrew Motion's memoir gets a pasting in whichever of the many papers I've discarded this weekend that reviewed it, it seems he's tried to write a "Cider With Rosie." His poetry's always been nostalgic, and I wonder what's served by a fictional version? I read biographies of writers - including the one's Motion has written - and skip the childhood crap to get to when they started writing, so not sure what's served by these kind of things. But there's a market, even if it's not me. Craig Raine's daughter is the latest "chip off the old block" to have a literary life, having a play she's written reviewed in another of them, so you end up with this bizarre world where the offspring of writers are desperate to follow in their parents' literary footsteps, and the writers themselves are desperate to write about their non-literary upbringings. Sunday service, of course, everything will return to normal tomorrow.
Posted by Adrian Slatcher at 10:35 AM