An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Pearls before swine

There is a remarkably high number of Philistines out there and "I'm agin it". Would you believe that the old boy posted a triptych of well crafted 50 word fictions in the "Creative" thread of a well known, but badly regarded, online community and got zero feedback! Zilch, zip, nada!

The only person to respond at all was our new foreign correspondent whom we have dubbed The Old Scrote: and he spotted the little gems on the blog rather than in the Creative area to which they were originally contributed. And we suspect that his enthusiasm might have been partially motivated by senility and sycophancy. All right, I withdraw that - he isn't that sort of guy.

The reason that I'm cross about this is that the old boy isn't all that gifted literary-wise, as our execrable cousins across the Atlantic would say, and he worked really hard at these things. Not content with the initial constraint of exactly 50 words for the story he added his own constraints to two of them: no Es in the second fiction and only the vowel E in the final piece (that one was really difficult). And then he added another constraint which was to reference within each piece, obliquely admittedly, the Georges Perec text on which each was based (A Void and The Exeter Text respectively).

Now even if they weren't literary masterpieces (and I could certainly have done better) the sheer ingenuity should have raised some commentary. It bothered me for a couple of days until that proverbial light went on in my head (an oddly technological analogy that) - none of the so-called "creatives" had even spotted the artifice! DOLTS! Creative? I think not - these people clearly do not recognise a poetic constraint when their collective nose is pushed into it! Constructive criticism and well judged encouragement is beyond them. Personally I suspect that the "creatives" there use the forum in just the same way as poor talentless poets use vanity publishers. Sad but true I fear.

1 comment:

  1. My Dear PoMo,

    You really should get out more if you think that genuine "creatives" waste their time scribbling material of dubious merit to sites or fora the like of which you mention.

    One only has to look at the appropriate "creative writing" boards on 'The Motley Fool' or the BBC's 'Let's Get Writing' forum -- or type 'scriptwriting' into Google to throw up hundreds of other such sites -- to see that the only people who post their scribblings there are simply soi-disants or would-be's. In short, your remark about these sort of sites being nothing other than cheap outlets for those who are unable to afford a conventional 'vanity publisher'is absolutely correct.

    Real literary creatives just do it, and the only people whose constructive appraisal, appreciation, or criticism they are really interested in is that of their agent or publisher.

    Also, I fear that your homage to Perec was wasted on the ignorant hoi-polloi who appear to represent the majority who participate in the oxymoronically named 'Spymac community', particularly your use of the lipogram technique.

    Personally I can't stand Perec, though I admit that he was very clever, but then I cannot stand much of the psuedo-intellectualisation that passes for intelligence and wit in modern French literary circles.

    So, whilst I appreciated your emulation of Perec, I regret that I could not share your enthusiasm for the subject, though I did admit to you that I had a sneaking regard for your final piece, which was as far as my sycophancy could stretch.

    Now you must excuse me, for I feel another bout of senility is about to descend.

    Strange thing, this senility, since it appears to have an inverse relationship to the contents of my companion bottle of Ardbeg. ;-)