Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday Dog Ears

This week's Dog Ears feature advice on how not to title literary fiction, as well as a pick-me-up courtesy of the romance genre:
  • Darragh McManus of The Guardian tells us "How Not to Title a Novel," focusing on the oh-so-generic titles that "literary fiction" seem be limited to recently.
  • Do you hate Nicholas Sparks?  If not, you should, because he's what we who pride ourselves on our extended vocabularies call a "douchebag."
  • Though I'm all for reading to your kids, this story of a father who read to his daughter every single night until she left for college rubs me a little wrong for some reason.  Maybe it's because it's in the "fashion" section of The New York Times?
  • Apparently there was something about Ted Hughes.  Four years after his wife, Sylvia Plath, committed suicide, his mistress, Assia Wevill, did the same.
  • Oh, and speaking of Ted Hughes, he now "Joins Literary Greats at Poet's Corner."  I can't wait to finally take my litnerd tour of London, by the way.
  • Colorado spring snow storms got you down?  Read the MST3K review of Diana Palmer's Iron Cowboy over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  It's long but freaking hilarious and definitely worth a read.  My favorite part:
"You know what else people in Jacobsville can do? DANCE. Is a mutha-effing dance-off, y’all! The Caldwell’s are doing a spirited Paso Doble, but then the Grier’s challenge them to a Tango. I’m totally not kidding here, guys. In a previous book there was a dance battle to the Macarena. THE MACARENA. Only 10 years after the fad came and went too. That’s practically current, by Palmer’s standards!"


Greg Zimmerman said...

Couldn't agree more about Emo Sparks - what a suck ass! Clearly, self-awareness is not a strong suit.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

I couldn't even read the whole thing--he compares himself to HEMINGWAY and says Cormac McCarthy is a terrible writer. I really want to believe he's being ironic (because I would totally say those kinds of things deadpan if I wrote romance novels, just to be funny), but the fact that he said his favorite book was one that he wrote made me throw up a little in my mouth.

Simcha said...

Even before Spark's tirade, I wasn't a big fan of his books and could never understand his growing popularity.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

I was sitting down with a couple people the other day, and one of them started off the list of her favorite authors with Nicholas Sparks and Mitch Albom. I said I'd read Albom if I absolutely had to, but I drew the line at Sparks.

Enbrethiliel said...


I had to read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath in uni, and my lecturer said that one passage from it is really interesting, in the light of what would happen much later in Plath's life. The main character of the novel is checked into a mental hospital and is visited by her ex-boyfriend, who reveals that another former girlfriend of his had to receive psychiatric treatment as well. Then he asks, though obviously afraid to hear the answer, "Do I make women crazy?"

My lecturer said that it is impossible to read that now without thinking of Plath, Hughes and Wevill.

As for Nicholas Sparks, I started disliking him after a much earlier interview in which he said he wasn't so much a novelist as a marketer. He knows what sells and has good enough writing skills to produce it. While I respect that he was at least up front about that, I refuse to read any of his manipulative books.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

I hate to say that I don't know as much about 20th Century Literature as I would like to, so whenever I find out things like this I'm surprised. Damn UCLA and their "grounding" me in the "classics"!

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