the literary socialist?
We come in many breeds, the book snobs.
Some profess that agéd books are best,
giving precious time only
to those pages who lie
with the canon’s comfy down.
Every breed has its pros and cons
– draw a list, or take a quiz to suit yourself –
this former species flaw is an
often unwillingness to question
who chose titles to ask into bed
and once a collection was started
did that not define the rules for the rest?
Just what was wrong with Grace Anguilar (1816-47)
and Harriet Martineau (1802-76)?
Who made the value judgments (that worked so favourably
for Middlemarch and Pride and Prejudice)?
But now I rattle on.
There is the breed of book snob who takes
a similar notion, that prizes and accolades
– evidence that some group of people somewhere
value something that some book they have been
shown or found either does or has –
will indicate a good book.
And indeed it will be to that reader if
that reader agrees with those values that
the judges of this prize have designed or
taken as their own.
I just sound cynical now.
Indeed and I have only really discussed the first
two and most obvious types of book snobs.
There are romance book snobs, fantasy book snobs,
non-fiction book snobs, theory – and academic – book snobs (these are
by far the most dangerous breed as they are most likely to
pissingly patronise all over you whilst believing to ‘do good’ by educating).
I, of course, have at one time or another been partially one or all of the above.
But I attempt now to reform.
I attempt to discover the literary socialist.
the screws on my thumbs are tightened only by the narrowness of my mind.
i aspire to accept that language is organic.
there is no good vs bad. how fundamentalist, how religious, it has been of me.
i attempt to think in terms of fluidity.
wish me luck.