Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Here We Go Again

I was going to put up a post about an article in today's Guardian newspaper - an article entitled : Mills & Boon: 100 years of heaven or hell?

You can find the article here if you want to read it in full - and of course I suggest that you do that before you comment, which is more than most critics do for Mills & Boon.
Because of course with a title like that you can tell what's coming can't you?

Though, to be fair - again unlike some! - the first part of the article is a well written, balanced, articulate and intelligent discussion of the 'pros' of Mills and Boon. I'd expect that though as it's written by M&B author Abby Green in her real-life guise as Daisy Cummins. I know that she's worried that what she actually wrote was cut to ribbons, but I don't think she should worry. She came across as intelligent, thoughtful and someone who at least knows her subject .

Unlike - and you were expecting this, weren't you? - unlike the writer for the 'cons' - against M&B -Julie Bindel who of course takes the lazy wayout, writing about 20 books she read 15 - that's 15 years ago and dragging out the tired old quotes from Violet Winspear in 1970 and Hilary Wilde, writing in1966 . So that's over 40 years back now! Oh, and treating those titles that we all love to hate as if they were actual true descriptions of what happens in the books. Her other 'evidence' means she's done nothing more than look at the back-blurb of three current releases. Blurb, incidentally, which isn't even written by the author.

Doesn't she realise that simply quoting opinions that were out of date even when she was doing her research in 1992 only shows her up rather than proves her point?

I could go on - but to be honest such lazy, biased, inaccurate ranting just isn't worth it. Though I do wonder at her qualifications for even commenting on this topic.

And anyway, another intelligent, articulate and balanced set of comments has already been made on this article here - comments I can't really better so I'll just direct you to read them if you're interested.

They're written by another intelligent, talented and articulate writer - Natasha Oakley. She's said just about all I'd want to say - she even grabbed the same headline.

Hmm - two M&B authors who actually take the time and trouble to read this article before commenting on it - 3 if you include me - more if you read the comments on Natasha's post - doesn't that tell you something?

Having read Natasha's comments on Ms Bindel, I see that along with her focus on sexual violence, transexualism and other delights, she also hates vegetarians. Well, that's me doubly damned then.

Do I care? Not a bit.
To be honest, earning any of Ms Bindel's approval for anything I did would have me worrying about myself.


Rachael said...

Hi Kate, just had to say I read the Guardian article. Ms Bindle's comments were on books of ages ago and as as aspiring writer who has attended your courses one of the most important things you taught us is to know the market - read up to date books. Obviously the same doesn't apply to the likes of Ms Bindle! Ignore the latter half of the artilce I think.

Unknown said...

Pretty crazy, eh?

Michelle Styles said...

The amazing thing is that the Guardian editor allowed such a sloppy piece of journalism to appear in the paper.

Would he allow a piece on the Labour party, quoting Harold Wilson as the definitive source for Brown's party to appear?

juliemt said...

I read that article yesterday with a lot of teeth grinding, Kate! What a ridiculous article (Julie Bindel's part, of course as Abby was wonderfully articulate!).

So she hasn't read any M&Bs for 15 years and then comments on the BLURB of three books? If this was any other field, she would be called lazy and ineffectual. It's a shame that the Guardian - and academia's standards in general - has slipped so drastically!

Donna Alward said...

The one good thing about Bindel's argument is that it is actually easy to dismiss as her lack of research and knowledge are so obvious it's quite impossible to take her seriously. I thought Abby and Natasha were (and are) stars.

I wish I could listen to Trish's radio ulster segment from last night but I can't get it to play.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Strictly commenting as a reader bravo Kate and all, and yes rubbish!


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