Wednesday, July 24, 2013


PLEASE YOURSELF...

I see that the `long list` for this year`s Booker Prize has been released, with the `short list` being revealed in a month or two, presumably once the mysteriously appointed `judges` have had time to flog through all the entries -  at least one of which is 832 pages long.

Now I readily confess to a good deal of ignorance about literature, despite gaining a creditable GCE in the subject back in the days when Dickens, George Eliot, Hardy and other rib-tickling worthies were compulsory reading, so I`m in no position to go on about the Booker Prize entries.   But here goes anyway.

What concerns me, you see, as a literary Luddite, is that I`ve honestly never heard of any of the authors who have been listed - my fault, I guess, but having had a gander about them and all their works, I`m left with the feeling that it`s all a bit `arty,` a bit weird, almost as though they have been selected for their eclectic diversity and their `social inclusiveness` as much as the notion that books are there to be read and enjoyed, rather than to become a challenge to one`s  misplaced urge to find acceptability through conformity.   (Sorry about the long sentence but it is the Booker season.)

So, I guess the Snoppers of this world will have to continue to find solace in their own `libraries.`  Mine has been built up over many years and includes an `interesting,` if very personal, selection of tomes, both fictional and educational - physics, mathematics, cosmology, cricket, football, art, history, the natural world, biography; novels by those such as Robert Goddard and Henning Mankell; the poetry of Betjeman and William Scammell and even today I bought a beautiful book illustrating the `secret beaches` of the south west to join my collection of books celebrating this sceptred isle.

I suppose I`m suggesting that, rather than being seduced by the Booker contenders, I can find all the inspiration I need just across the room.   A couple of examples:-

- The Inquisitive Elf by Eunice Close, published by Dean as part of their Little Poppet Series provides a gripping account of the battle between good and evil fought out in the underworld of fantasy and the consequent redemption found as a result of confronting those twin impostors, triumph and disaster.   Then there is.......

- Taking Le Tiss, the autobiography of Matthew le Tissier (Harper Sport) which illustrates yet again the abandonment of raw talent and invention in favour of toil, sweat and relentless effort, leading as always to negativity and leaving the victim to reflect on the basic unfairness of the judgement of others.

And it is, of course, the judgement of others that will decide the destination of the Booker Prize, rather than the choices that individuals may make for themselves? 

2 comments:

Ray Turner said...

In my opinion, The Booker Prize is in exactly the same league as the Turner Prize...

No I don't mean Southern League Division 2.

I actually mean the Premiership which is out of touch with the fundamentals of the game, full of luvvies with big ego's who have convinced themselves that their work is worth millions, when more often than not it is rubbish...

Snopper said...

Thanks, Ray - seems as if we agree once more. There`s a surprise!