Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Response Time

I've been feeling kind of silenced lately - blog-silenced, that is. First of all because my virtual book tour has been taking up that bit of my brain I leave open for logical thought when I'm trying really hard to get on with my own writing, but also because what seems (from the depths of my latest story) to have been the literary sensation of last week - the row over Geraldine Bedell's book and the Dubai literature festival - has left me pondering, pondering, pondering rather than commenting...

Thing is, this so often happens to me - I'm often late to the bone-picking feast and sometimes I never get there at all before it's too late. I read a piece in the paper or on the web, and I think, Well, I need to think about this. And when I've thought a bit I think, Ah, yes, but is that really the case? How do they know? Where's the evidence? Etc etc... And so I don't feel qualified to have a bracing clear-cut opinion.

And what I'm pondering now is: is this what happens - the embarrassing situation in which Margaret Atwood has been placed over this issue - when we put too much trust in journalistic reports and respond accordingly too fast? And is this something to which the web, with its culture of quick-fire response, is contributing?
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