Thursday 1 January 2009

“Gli eroi dimenticati il suol quasi dischiude.” (Giacomo Leopardi)

“Forgotten heroes almost springing up from the earth.”

I love reading the “Heroes and Villains” pieces at the end of the year. Elisabetta and I were made into heroes once – by mistake I suppose – in the Independent’s end-of-the-year roll call when we launched Hesperus.

I especially loved these two comments, posted on the Bookseller online.


“By Bunny
Villain. How about J K Rowling. Rolling in cash, pal of PMs wife. Chooses to hand over one million to the mendacious coward Gordon Brown and his party of goons. He wrote the cheques for the Iraq war and sat ildly by for eleven years as Chancellor with his 'light touch regulation' attitude to the banks. Oh and her latest offering is shockingly bad.
30 Dec 08 13:20”

I doubt Bunny will vote labour at the next general election. A quick search will show you that “Rolling” Rowling’s gift to Gordon the “Moron” Brown is one of the most criticized celebrity acts of 2008. People think that being charitable to labour, these days, is a huge mistake: euthanasia would be a much more humane solution.

“By Ray Hollingsworth
I'm told JKR's latest offering is complete rubbish ... both by children and adults. She burned out long ago. Fair play to the woman for saving the book trade from a worst fate though ... but, if I was her, I'd look to do something else.
30 Dec 08 16:21”

Ray Hollingsworth has quickly established himself as the voice of dissent and controversy in the bookselling world. He comes across as a nice chap who says what he thinks – and, usually, what I think too! Truths tend to be unpalatable, so reaction to his comments are usually mocking or splenetic, but his assessments are generally spot-on. It has to be said, in Rowling’s defence, that killing off reputations is one of the nation’s national sports, more popular than fox-hunting or darts, I reckon.

Luckily it’s not all bad news for women in publishing, as Victoria Barnsley of Fourth Estate and HarperCollins glory got an OBE for her services to publishing. I am just amazed and slightly peeved off that Jamie Oliver, Ian Rankin or A*** C*** weren’t knighted. Sexism in reverse, I suppose.


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