Where are the wild dogs when you need them?

I don’t suppose Adèle Geras expected her email alert to have quite this effect on me. But that’s the blogging world for you. I was out all Sunday so did not, in fact, see the Observer article where Ed Docx – ‘literary author’ – tears Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown to pieces. And the crime fiction genre and genres in general. Thank god for real literature. What would we do without it?

Ed Docx 2

A brief meeting with the good Ed means I seem to know that he has a literature background, which will be why he knows so much. He lectures quite strongly, and wrongly, in this Observer piece. Just as he did at the bookshop event I went to, where he thought nothing of telling the assembled readers, most of whom were at least twice his age, how to read a book. He wasn’t trying to be funny, either.

On Normblog Mr Geras had this to say about the article. Such a relief to find some well put-together sentences such as ‘Oh dear, Yeats! If only he’d roamed free of those poetic forms’, even if Norm doesn’t share my fondness for crime.

Stieg Larsson would surely turn in his grave if he knew he was being bracketed with Mr Brown of Da Vinci fame. There is a lot of difference between the two, and I think Ed would have been better to concentrate on complaining about only one of them.

Over on Crime Always Pays there is also a debate going on, with John Connolly sticking up for Ed. Which I will forgive him for. This time. And I agree with the comment about Lee Child, but then I would.

I was going to find a way to link to what I wrote about Ed a couple of years ago, but technical difficulties are getting in my way. Besides, when there are quotes like this one from the Observer comments section to enjoy, who needs old witch material? ‘The important thing is that anyone who claims to be a writer and writes copy like Docx’s should have their bowels torn out by wild dogs.’

(And you can never have two many drinks. As long as they balance.)


4 responses to “Where are the wild dogs when you need them?

  1. Yup! I agree….I’m a mad crime fan as you know but could NOT read beyond page 30 or so of Dan Brown. Not the same thing at all. There’s crime and crime just as there are novels and novels. As they say: It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it!

  2. Well, I need literature as I teach it, but if I had to choose between ´literature´ and crime fiction for my own personal entertainment, I´d probably pick the crime.

  3. ‘The important thing is that anyone who claims to be a writer and writes copy like Docx’s should have their bowels torn out by wild dogs.’

    His or her bowels, actually. But then, I lean towards the literary along with Norm. Though NOT towards “Franzen, Coetzee, Hollinghurst, Amis, Mantel, Proux, Ishiguro, Roth”, who are Docx’s faves, with the exception of Mantel and some of Ishiguro. And along with Norm, I’m very suspicious of the assumption that genre conventions limit a writer. There’s as much awful literary fiction around these days as awful vampire stuff. And no, I haven’t read Stieg. Must I? I’m still trying to get around to Mankell.

  4. No, I’ll give you special dispensation not to read Stieg. As for Mankell read the standalone non-Wallander The Return of the Dancing Master, and the children’s trilogy about Sofia. Or the first two, seeing as no.3 has not been translated. If you want/need more you watch Wallander on television. Not Branagh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s