Monday, May 12, 2008

Dreaming and Marketing

Thanks to the delectable Madame Arcati for alerting me to a great interview with Will Self on the Access Interviews website. Five film clips show a softer Self than his reputation allows, whose happiest moments include his kids being born, but he is never less than intellectually steely, of course.

In the third clip, 'The Writing Life', Self rightly describes writing as 'structured dreaming'. For Self, therefore, it is useless to write for anyone other than himself and least of all, it is implied, for the 'market' - unlike Tony Parsons who, he tells us, uses focus groups to help him decide what novels to write. It occurred to me for a moment that Tony Parsons might think of suing him, but then in the present climate it's hardly an accusation...

In the meantime, having been one of the three judges drawing up the shortlist for the Best of the Booker, John Mullan betrays to the Guardian the farcical nature of the enterprise:
Mullan also noted that the list would have looked quite different had every shortlisted title been eligible. "All three of us felt that quite a lot of really good novelists have won, but not for their best book. Lucky the novelist who won for his or her best book, like Coetzee.

If Ian McEwan's Atonement had won the Booker it would have had a great chance, but he won with Amsterdam. And it's a pity that Margaret Atwood won for The Blind Assassin."

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