Sunday, July 30, 2006

Snoozing While Books Burn

Today apparently people in London are marching to burn a book, but there's been no mention of it in any TV or radio bulletin I've heard today and I can find none in The Observer, not even on the Books Pages. I can see that people might feel that the situation in Lebanon pushes other things out (though not, it seems, a full-page article about a 'movie starlet'), but why is there no discussion there about the potential links, or otherwise, between these two things? (As there is on the web: see Baroque in Hackney's riveting Saturday post.)

If it's disinterest, it's mistaken, but you suspect it's something much worse: fear of inflaming things through discussion, which, as we all know, is the prime tool of any totalitarian state.

As for the literary pages, it confirms the view that they are moribund and lazy and operating nowadays merely as a function of publishing's publicity machine. And if the excuse is that these pages are prepared in advance, well, that simply proves the point.
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