I know you’ve seen this on ten other blogs…
Posted June 7, 2007on:
…but I can’t help doing my own on-line jig about Chimamanda Adichie’s win of the Orange Prize. Hurray! I can’t remember the last time bloggers responded with such warmth to a prize winner announcement since Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel (and that was more about his speech than the actual award, I think). Do check out the comments on her websites from readers who shared her personal connection to the Biafra war.
To switch gears I’ve been considering something. I noticed that in the latest issues of Open Monthly and The Quarterly Conversation most (if not all) of the contributors were men. This saddened me because I like both of these publications a lot and the fact that this is the case in most of the journals I read is beginning to annoy me. I’m not going to blast off any e-mails expressing outrage or what have you. I’m going to try to….uhhh….submit something myself.
The only reason my palms aren’t sweating now is because the fan is on at full blast.
Anyway I’m not sure if I can, or I can but would it not suck or be depressingly mediocre. I only have a B.A. and it wasn’t in English, I haven’t read Aristotle’s On Poetics, I’m still having a ball with Dewey’s Art as Experience and I’m going to stop right there before I psyche myself out. I know I’d have to tidy up my writing and dig up my essay handbook and edit, edit, edit but whatever, no guts no glory. (I need a shirt with that on it. No, a poster.) Could I make it interesting and engaging and not an utter bore? We’ll see.
I bypassed the idea of doing a book review because I can’t do plot summaries for shit and I prefer a lot of the time to pull out one thing and run with it, so that leaves me with essays. The Quarterly likes ol’ timey out-of-print or nearly so authors so right now the most likely author I’d focus on would be Roger Mais. Caribbean authors get close to no play in these sort of things so why not. But the main thing is that I’ve read all of his novels and only have the short stories left.
Second idea is Ivy Compton-Burnett. This one would be a bit harder as I’ve only read one and a bit of her novels and she’s written ten million more, but her entire oeuvre deals with one overarching theme, so I wouldn’t have to read everything to write something worthwhile. She’s a brilliant, scathing novelist, a great stylist and not celebrated enough IMO. (I don’t understand why Manservant and Maidservant isn’t in high school curricula but maybe that’s for the best.)
Third idea is a nice little piece on fantasy short stories because I’d be tickled to see something on fantasy that isn’t written by a South American. The ones I have in mind are by Sylvia Townsend Warner, Kelly Link, and a Caribbean anthology. (Only the last hasn’t been read.)
What do you think? Be honest – you don’t want me to delude myself and spend hours and hours in the library until midnight for nothing. (Feel free to use the contact form on my about page if you want to tell me it’s a bad idea privately.) And if you think you have it in you, particularly my female readership, please consider doing something similar if you have the time and interest. You don’t want me to look at the next issue’s list of contributors and cry into my keyboard again, do you?