Friday, August 26, 2005

Silence, for an idiot doth pipeth uppeth...

FINAL UPDATE - 6.52 p.m.

Tim didn't reply to my final message, but it's worth reading anyway (scroll to bottom)

UPDATED! A reply from Tim Clare! Read down.

Had to rant after reading Claypot's link to Tim Clare, a scribbler, who has penned a conceited article on publishing for today's Guardian. go read his idiocy and then you will better appreciate the open letter i sent him this very day.

----> TO TIM CLARE, GREATEST WRITER IN THE WORLD <---- It really is hilarious reading your moans, Tim. You remind me of people who moan about the traffic clogging up the roads when they drive their car, not prepared to concede that they are also a part of the traffic. It appears that basically you require your own perfect world where no-one else entertains dreams of going anywhere with their writing, so that you can move through the world of publishing with god-like ease.

If english teachers are so bad, why did you spend so much time at university, developing your writing skills?

Don't worry about this being sour grapes, as i have worked on numerous books and have a substantial circle of friends who are novelists/journalists. My problem with your piece is how conceited you are. While it's true that there's thousands of hopeless writers are struggling to get signed up, the fact that you have been signed up for a first novel is no kind of proof that your "success" won't simply prove to be one more example of "a frightening propensity for chucking good money after bad." You seem to skip merrily over your own argument when it comes to your intergalactic adventure book.

You haven't made it yet, so let's see where you are in a year if your novel doesn't sell. You may be wishing that you'd shown a little more humility. jason kennedy ***

>>> FROM TIM CLARE <<<***

Dear Jason,
thanks very much for reading my article and taking the time to respond to it.
I feel - having not seen my Channel 4 programme - you may have missed the tongue-in-cheek nature of the article. I count myself amongst the great unwashed and unpublished, since Joshu Replied is still being rewritten and thus doesn't have a publishing deal. It was intended as a lighthearted pop at all the vain ungrateful wannabes - myself included - who think the world owes them a book deal, irrespective of talent or saleability.
I'm quite happy for my own work to be judged purely on merit and sales. If it flops miserably, I can be a waiter or something. I'm sure you will secretly love my book when it comes out, shutting yourself in the linen closet and surreptitiously masturbating over it with an expression of rapturous glee. If this proves to be the case, I shall of course be only too happy to sign a copy for you. Thank you again for your interest.
Best wishes,



i was going to include the line

"no wonder you're writing science-fiction. no doubt the male hero gets to plunder lots of space pussy and never has to queue."

but i left it out, thinking it wasn't fair to you and sci-fi as a whole (as i am a great fan of philip k dick, h g wells, william gibson, etc). then you reply and include unsolicited references to my
masturbating in a linen closet. is this your conception of a reader's general relationship to your work, or am i supposed to feel special!

i live in the US, so i am sadly deprived of the majesty of your Channel Four appearance, but i think you'll find that the tongue-in-cheek aspect has gone astray, i did a reread and found no signs of intentional humour.

if you haven't been, you'd find a good place to film/observe writerly matters is the Way With Words Festival at Dartington College of Arts. lots of wealthy pensioners gone slightly dotty, the highlight was probably the rhythmic foot-stomping protest they delivered to Anne Widdicombe a few years back.



Blogger HF said...

What a plonker! It might have been down to me not being a native english speaker that I didn't catch the tongue-in-cheek tone. Since you didn't either I rule that one out. The publishing industry is an industry (not a mafia) and therefore it is ruled by a market and by what certain people in key positions think the market wants. Since the products' qualities are not as easily pinned down by technical performance and the like (like selling a new car) there is a lot of material for heated discussions about the books that make it actually into the shops. And this is perfectly ok. If you don't have a love for writing for the sake of it you shouldn't enter this game anyway as this is the only attitude that will bring you success (regardless what shape this "success" might take, and yes there IS more to live than chasing $$$s or €€€s!! And certainly literary quality can't be judged on sales figures). So any writers out there who read Tim's article: don't listen he's on the wrong track. There is only one thing to achieve literary acknowledgement: rigorous work on the text and that should be your only worry.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Claypot said...

Ah, kudos to you my friend. I just LOVE how you actually contact these people. Me, once I've read them and ranted about them I kind of lose the will to live. Tongue-in-cheek? Not unless he meant butt-cheek. As a master(mistress?) of sarcasm/irony/black humour, I too failed to spot anything remotely resembling that in his piece. If he intended it that way it didn't come across. Which could be fuel for saying he's an idiot. Which is where we came in I believe...

2:18 AM  
Blogger HF said...

I think he realized too late that his statements very very half-baked and than didn't have the guts to admit it. It is alway far more dignified to admit to a mistake then to try and cover it up with even more bullshit. A loss of face Mr. Clare, sorry to say...

9:24 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

i get the most awful chills when these people reply, just seeing the email waiting in the inbox. is it going to be confrontational... will it upset me... and then, over the edge into the abyss!

10:41 AM  
Blogger HF said...

"when you stare into the abyss the abyss also stares into you" the reverend Bernice Woodall (league of gentlemen)

6:02 PM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

and i thought it was nietzche who said it first. never knew he was such a fan of the League of Gentlemen!

10:01 PM  
Blogger HF said...

I shall be damned! You are so right! It was Nietzsche. I find myself staring into the gaping holes of my knowledge...

5:28 AM  
Blogger bingeing ninja said...

So let me get this right... Clare writes one of those convoluted piss-takes, the English seem to love (and Americans rarely seem to get). You crack the shits, thump your chest in an email and he calls you a wanker (cue more bitching and moaning). Appears to me, in terms of amusement value at least, Timmy is way a head on points.

2:47 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

you are kidding right, ninja? there's not a single amusing thing tim clare says or does in this exchange. and if it's about americans not getting it, i'm english, so there's nothing to answer for there.

demons begone!

6:31 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

hmmm, besides, you are Tim Clare and i claim my ten pounds, for yes, i made you look like the Prick you most aboundedly are.

6:44 AM  

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