Archive for March, 2010

the girl with the dragon tattoo (again)

Posted by on March 15th, 2010

The Guardian ran an article on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, asking the familiar question of whether it’s a feminist narrative or not. This time it’s based around the film coming out, but contains the usual business. Nobody says it, but you’d sometimes imagine that you must be either ‘feminist’ and ‘misogynist’.

It’s a bemusing piece, to be honest. The writer admits she’s not really a thriller reader, and that she’s not going to watch the film, so it’s difficult to fathom what depth of analysis she’s capable of bringing to either. I’d have thought any consideration of the feminist claims around Larsson’s book would work best with some insight into the genre as a whole. And her criticism of the film seems to be based on a small, self-selecting sample of bad reviews, when, in general, I’ve heard mostly fantastic things about it. The world continues to turn.

I like this comment, though, by SocalAlex:

“We tend to think better of ourselves because we no longer attend public hangings. Yet we flock to second-rate movies which glory in dramatically staged killings without any attached human consequences, comforting ourselves with the platitude that “it’s not real”. But is that enough? Everytime we cheer when a cliched “hero” kills a cliches “villain” (Or for that matter, a brave Hollywood soldier kills a cartoonish Nazi or “terrorist”) are we not complicit in something which has very dark roots?”

via The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: feminist, or not? | Books |

Found: David Mitchell on Jon Venables

Posted by on March 14th, 2010

“Newspapers have always sold copies by sensationalising small-scale atrocities, and that’s fine. It’s perfectly possible to be appalled by a crime and its consequences – genuinely to empathise for the victims – and still to find hearing more about it fun. There’s no harm in that.

The harm only comes when we’re dishonest about our reasons for wanting to find out about it – when we lie to ourselves that we’re reading about a crime only with heavy-hearted regret and to keep ourselves informed of important events. The Venables/Thompson/Bulger horrors aren’t important events – they’re just interesting ones.”

via Jon Venables and dangerous dogs have more in common than you think | Comment is free | The Observer.

Brian Masters on Jon Venables

Posted by on March 5th, 2010

“We cannot feel anger at this man who was detained yesterday, for we no longer know who he is. He may be married. He may be a father. He may have a job. He may be kind and considerate. He may be rotten and deceitful. He may have shoplifted. He may have sold drugs. It does not matter, for we are not interested in him; we are interested in the little boy who terrified us with his malice all those years ago, and we do not want to let that shudder evaporate and lose its power.”

Jon Venables is no longer the guilty boy who killed James Bulger – Telegraph.

La chronique de Carole S.

Posted by on March 5th, 2010

Finally added the ‘Press This’ button to my toolbar, which, in theory, allows me to grab stuff from the web that interests me and generate a quick blog post from it. If nothing else, it might mean that the site updates more frequently, and anyone visiting gets at least some insight into what’s on my mind.

Anyway, I figured I’d try it out with this video I found. Ceux qu’on aime is the French title for Cry For Help.

I have no real idea what she’s saying, but it’s nice that she’s saying anything at all.

YouTube – La chronique de Carole S. – Ceux qu’on aime.


Posted by on March 3rd, 2010

No, not the new book – although that is on its way – but my son Zack, who was born on Sunday 21 February, weighing a whopping 8 pounds 9. Currently, he looks sort of like this:

Although, you know, more turbulent and full of cry. Anyway, after a hardcore hospital experience, both he and mum are doing well. And I’m very proud/happy/fucking knackered (delete as applicable).

So there’s been two weeks, more or less, off writing Book Six (The Blue Flower? The Black Flower? Black Flowers? Not sure of my working title yet), but that’s going to start up again soon. And I’m figuring the sleep deprivation can only add an extra pinch of spice to proceedings.

There are also a few other things on the horizon, not least of which is a trip to Germany at the end of April to promote the German version of Cry for Help. That’ll be a week long affair, and I’m looking forward to it, albeit with the understandable reluctance to leave Zack and Lynn. I’ll post more details of that soon.

Aside from that, I know I owe a more interesting blog post to the handful of people still attending here. The room hasn’t been left, honestly; if you listen carefully at the wall, you’ll hear the sound of a baby crying next door, and an exhausted writer smashing his fuzzy head into furniture to keep himself awake.

I’m sorry, in the meantime, for any emails or comments – here or elsewhere – that have gone unanswered, or congratulations that appear to have gone unacknowledged. They’ve all been noted and very, very much appreciated.