Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Synergistic chemicals

Stuart Jeffries interviews Joan Brady at the Guardian--it's a fascinating profile in its own right, but it also clarifies certain matters concerning the absurd notion (I blogged about it the other day) that fumes can make a writer "go lowbrow" (link courtesy of Sarah):
The Times ran with the headline "Fumes made me go lowbrow, says writer". It even juxtaposed two extracts - one from Theory of War, the other ostensibly the opening paragraph of Bleedout (it is actually from later in the book) under the headline "Dumbing down" - as if to suggest the fumes had made Brady a literary thickie. "The voice is exactly the same as in Theory of War," she counters crossly. "I haven't dumbed down. I never said it. That's the pure invention of the Times. They have decided that this effete literary woman has become so stupid that she can no longer write boring literary fiction and writes poorly selling thrillers instead. My mental faculties haven't deteriorated. And anyway, what an insult it would be to thriller writers to suggest that you need to be stupid to write them. It seems to me so irritating that you would denigrate a remarkable genre where much of the best writing is done. I'm a great admirer of writers like John Grisham and Scott Turow."
Hmmm, my personal opinion is that Grisham and Turow should not be mentioned in the same breath, Turow is so markedly the superior writer...

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