Thursday, 10 April 2008


Do read this:

"Writers don't have to be saints but they do have to have empathy and live as civilised beings within the rules that apply to us all..." Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Evening Standard.

What utter utter twaddle.

She was blethering about V S Naipaul's biography, in which he is revealed to be racist, tyrannical, a frequenter of prostitutes... blah blah blah.

She and others are saying that this man's flaws as a human being UNDERMINE HIS CREDIBILITY AS A WRITER.

My fingers won't type coherently enough, I'm afraid, and I'm sure there will be pages of dead tree and ether scribble devoted to this one.

But this nice civilised lady writer would like to make the following statement:



Women Rule Writer said...

Hey V
There's a row raging over here about taking a certain poet's poetry off the Leaving Cert course (equiv to A level) because he is gay and likes to have sex with men younger than him. It is complex as the young men in question are poor residents of a 3rd world country, BUT what any of it has to do with his poetry is beyond me! I object to his private life/pecadilloes being splashed all over the tabloids and sensationalised - he has broken no law, excepting a moral one. And what has any of it to do with his beautiful poems??!!!!

Vanessa G said...


has it got something to do with our wish to control the things that influence us, especially the young?

We manage to get it so wrong.

We give permission to the makers and distributors of video games to turn sadism and violence (especially against women... what fun) into playthings for teenagers.

And yet there are people who will happily ban work from writers if the work itself is laudable but the personal lives of the writers is found wanting.


Charles Lambert said...

Presumably Michael Douglas's films are also on the blacklist (though I'm not suggesting that Wales is third world)...

Who is the poet?

Vanessa G said...

Hello Charles, welcome to the wacky world of mirrors.

I was wondering after reading the article in The Times, whether Alibhai-Brown's comments were made because she like so many are consumed by the cult of celebrity?

People are more interested in the minutiae of the lives of writers and artists these days. People want to know about their private lives... when really... are they relevant at all?

It is very sad and meaningless.

I'm not sure who the poet is... WRW could tell you.