Next They’ll Be Telling Us The Sky Isn’t Falling

August 30th, 2005 · 6 Comments
by Booksquare

We are off to an unconscionably early morning meeting and, while we’d prefer to hang out with our blog, have no time. Let us just say the husband has started wielding an iron and asking questions about how it works. Like we’d know.

Thus we leave you with an article to ponder. There will be an essay test later.

Curiously unsatisfied with the idea that being a successful novelist requires the ability to write books that a consistently large number of people are prepared to buy, jaded scribblers search instead for an explanation that will permit them to retreat with their pride and delusions intact. As W Somerset Maugham put it: “I have never met an author who admitted that people did not buy his book because it was dull.”

P.S. – The test will be more along the lines of why W Somerset Maugham is a god.

File Under: Square Pegs

6 responses so far ↓

  • jim // Aug 30, 2005 at 8:15 am

    As long as the husband doesn’t chase you down the hallway wielding the iron, it’s probably OK.

    On the other hand, if he does, please capture it on video.

  • Karen // Aug 30, 2005 at 9:21 am

    Well, it seems there is something wrong with the idea that it is jaded scribblers who are searching for an explanation that lets them off the hook. Jaded is knowing, and knowing knows when a book is dull, even if you’re the one who’s written it. Inexperienced writers are more likely to blame outside forces. Which is not to say that outside forces don’t exist. Does that CMA sufficiently?

    What’s an iron?

  • Brenda Coulter // Aug 30, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    Yeah, the guy’s a little snobby about upstart writers, but the article was so much fun I had to read it twice. I blogged about it last week when Booksquare was reading Maugham and having her toenails painted.

  • David Thayer // Aug 30, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Never use an iron when a driver is called for. And, yes, I’m jaded yet still dull.

  • Booksquare // Aug 30, 2005 at 9:20 pm

    Brenda, sigh. Booksquare was not only reading Maugham and having her toenails painted, but also attending a high stakes wine tasting. I know, I know, my life is too rough to contemplate.

    Jim — the iron was helpfully located in Temecula. No hallway. Hotel room. Lousy coffee. You can imagine the scene.

    Karen — as one who is jaded and hypercritical, I believe you are correct. It’s always the other guy until you have the distance to realize it’s you. Which leads to a whole new set of neuroses.

    David — Thanks for the clarification. He kept asking me questions that I couldn’t answer (Do you think this thing works? What if it doesn’t? Is there any chance that you want to help?). Now that I understand it was a sports-related question I can safely respond, however belatedly (I dunno. I dunno. No.).

    I can’t help but notice that nobody mentioned their personal favorite Maugham short story. If this had been a real blog emergency…

  • jim // Aug 31, 2005 at 8:37 am

    A hotel room in Temecula? Just adds to the comedy.