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Showing posts from August, 2021

On Literary Fame

Very few writers would honestly say they'd prefer to be completely unknown (hence, unread) rather than famous - but in the past few days a remarkable media and PR campaign has sought to announce that an Irish writer, Sally Rooney , is now 'The world's most famous' young writer. And in many magazines and frontpages of major national UK newspapers over the past few days, the 'hell of fame' has been noted. It is not the author's fault that another 'hell' - that of dying or suffering in Kabul outside the airport while desperately clinging to hope - was also being mentioned, often on the same front pages. There are levels of fame, and therefore, levels of hell, no doubt. This post is not about the Irish novelist, however. We must wish her well and hope she manages to enjoy her success and keep writing: her efforts have paid off, and that is all to the good. Literary envy is a poison no one should spice their food with. Let us consider a point that many ed


A lot has already been written and spoken about the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan, not least today in the British House of Commons, when parliament returned from summer recess for an emergency debate, in which the PM, who seeks to be a Churchill , was treated more like a Chamberlain - with MPs from his own benches, including former PM May , castigating the government's failures to do more. Certainly 'fighting them on the beaches' took on new meaning this week, with key figures in the UK on holiday even as Kabul fell. I don't intend to waste anyone's time holding forth for very long. But I did want to note,  for the sake of the blog's record, that I am aware of what has happened, and deeply concerned and heart-broken by the events. My main concern is for the millions of Afghani women, girls, men and boys, and members of the LGBTQI+ communities who may or will be killed, raped, tortured, arrested, detained, or seriously hindered in their full life's chance