Monday, 18 September 2006

Têtes à claques XIII

Why Sarah Waters? Because she looks so smug; because she has a PhD in English Literature and chooses to write, as she says herself, ‘faux-Victorian melodrama’. Ha! It’s soft porn. The word ‘bawdy’ is often used to describe her novels; I shudder when I see that word: it represents everything I detest – in literature and elsewhere.

Why Andrew Davies? Because he’s an old lech, but he should know better than to adapt that kind of crappy stuff. Please don’t tell me he’s a wonderful adaptor; I know he is. His recent adaptation of Bleak House was a gem, and so was almost everything he previously adapted for the small screen. But together with Sarah Waters he managed to produce the most preposterous and repellent thing I’ve ever seen on television – Tipping the Velvet. (As a bonus, it also featured one of the least talented offspring-of a-famous-person ever: Rachael Stirling, Diana Rigg’s daughter. That programme really had tout pour plaire, as we say in French.)

They say everything is being dumbed down. No kidding! Sarah Waters and her faux-Victorian melodramas have been short-listed for the Booker Prize (the most important literary prize in the UK). What next? A Mills & Boon/Harlequin ‘novel’?

Slap! Slap!

PS. Don't you think they look like each other too? The same pixie face. Creepy.


  1. Whole heartedly second the slap (And I have been working out, so you know they will be reeling). Tipping the Velvet was beyond belief, it was so bad. The Booker should be reserved for better writers than this!

  2. Oh, they DO look like each other! I'm glad I won't be subjected to this faux-Victorian soft porn but I AM glad I saw Bleak House, which was gorgeous and brilliant. Aren't I being Little Miss Agreeble this morning ;D. Feel free to give me a little tap, if you must.

  3. The same nose too! Wow.

    Bawdy kind of makes me laugh because my Canadian pronunciation of body sounds a lot like bawdy. Which is sometimes appropriate.

  4. off-topic...

    i think i need help: i just spotted your 'rabid feminist' icon and below it swore that i read the word 'penis'

    but of course it says 'pens'

    yikes - what would mr freud make of that?!

  5. I once read an earlier Sarah Waters book - someone lent it to me. The one about Victorian fraudulent mediums and women in prison. Bleagh! I did read it all - I wanted to know what happened - but then felt afterwards as if I had been fooled or cheated. The same way I felt, actually, after reading the ending of Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow, which I'd been really enjoying for its different atmosphere until it got silly and sci-fi at the end. Not that I mind sci-fi, but I like to see it coming, so to speak.

    I think the Booker often gets the final choice wrong, and I don't really like it when the winner is unreadable (The Bone People, anybody? Or was it just me?), but this is madness. What next? as you say.

  6. LOL, C! Everything that woman writes is 'dishonest' in some way. She's exploiting people's baser instincts. She's not the only one, of course, but you would expect more from an intelligent, highly educated woman.

    Do people who look alike think alike, L? I wonder. Wasn't Bleak House absolutely incredible? I wanted it to go on and on and on. It converted me to Anna Maxwell Martin, as it were. She was so bad in a play she did at the National not long before that. But everything was just right in Bleak House. Can't wait for it to be repeated. Andrew Davies is a genius... and an old lech. LOL!

    Yes, they both look like little gnomes, K. Indeed 'bawdy' and 'body' very often go together. I love 'witty'; I love 'humorous'; I love 'ironic'; I love 'comical'; I even love 'farcical' sometimes, but 'bawdy' implies 'vulgar' and 'vulgar' I don't like.

    'Get thee to an ophthalmologist, UC!' says Mr Freud. (Wonder if that's as bad as 'methinks', LOL!)

    Have you tried putting your mouse over the little 'rabid feminist' button? Carefully now.

    The word 'penis' may well appear some day on this blog, but I can't guarantee it, so don't hold your breath...

    L, that's what 'dishonest' writers do: draw you in and cheat on you. There's a lot of that about.

    Sarah Waters is the bookies' favourite at the moment. Pass the bucket!

  7. I'm always, shall we say, suspicious when something either literary or minority gets mainstream acceptance. Often this is unfounded. But...the majority of the people don't know what's best for them and enjoy what they're told they like.

    That's all I have to say.

  8. Does Sarah Waters fall in the category of 'literary' or 'minority'? I myself think she's the worst kind of middlebrow writer. Middlebrow is sometimes worse than lowbrow.

  9. tout pour to know what that means.
    Yep in total agreement here. Tried to read one of SW's books and ran back to the library with it = UGH

  10. Oh, C, you live in France... have you never heard that expression? (Perhaps it's too old-fashioned.) Literally, 'avoir tout pour plaire' would mean 'to possess every quality one might ever wish, 'to be extremely attractive' (it applies to inanimate objects too), BUT it's ironic and actually means 'to be absolutely terrible'. Tipping the Velvet was such a beast.

  11. Couldn't agree more with all of this. Why do I keep finding I agree with everything on this wonderblog?


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