Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Literature: Can't Face it.

It's as I was saying: it's a great shame that people can't take literature undiluted and have this urge to know about the author and see him or her in the flesh. And as I've said before, and as Alyssa McDonald says on the Guardian books blog, publishers ought to take note of the fact that too many author readings can put you right off a book. I can't agree with her about Simon Armitage, though, whom she thinks a terrible reader: like several of the commenters I find that the 'flatness' of which she complains in his reading allows him to avoid the melodramatics of which she also complains in other readers, and allows the work to breathe separate from his person. MacDonald advocates the use of actors, but I can never abide the readings of actors - they always privilege the 'characters' over the narrative voice - and some of them have such pretentious narrative voices - and as a performer myself I'm always worried that I'll do this too.

Some of the commenters suggest the Guardian uses a less unflattering photo of Armitage - but no one so far, I notice, has suggested taking it off altogether...
Post a Comment