Hello lovelies, I hope July has treated you well so far!
I’m a tad behind in my reading and blogging, but as always, am hoping to rectify that! For now, it’s time for another instalment of Literary Linking/Food for Thought, in which I round up a few articles of bookish interest. Let me know your thoughts on these – I found them rather fascinating/appalling.
“And it drove home another lesson: Not only was I not a librarian, I wasn’t even really dealing in reading material. That the objects in our Little Free Library happened to be books was beside the point. The salient fact was that the items were free. We may as well, I suspected, have been offering plastic spoons, Allen wrenches and facial tissue. I tested this hypothesis by mixing in non-book items including an instructional DVD on how to use an exercise ball, and a few packets of echinacea seeds.
All of it went.”
“Despite being in Zambia, she writes about becoming a “central character” in the Congolese war of the late 1990s – terrified of what the rebels from across the border “would do to the ‘skinny white muzungu with long angel hair’”.
She goes on to rattle through the dictionary of “white saviour in Africa” cliches: from 12-inch long spiders, “brutal tales of rape and murder”, “close encounters with lions” and helping a “smiling gap-toothed child with HIV”.
The response on social media was immediate.”
“Oh. You want stories in your favorite genres by your favorite authors and you want them today, without having to pay for them, regardless of their listed price. Yeah, that’s entitlement. And when you download them illegally from a pirate site or torrent, that’s stealing. Let’s just get the terms right, okay?
Come to think of it, the notion that books should be free might be a big factor in why many publishing houses are dropping their lines of cozy mysteries–they simply aren’t profitable enough, despite the existing fan base. Think about that.
Creative works should be free–the purpose of creativity is to tell stories and share them, and there shouldn’t be a monetary component to the process.
I gotta admit, I was gobsmacked by this one. I see. So the very nobility of my purpose means I shouldn’t get paid for it. I should create for the pure joy of making things and release my creative works like doves into the sky, crying, “Go! Fly! Be Free!” as I let them go.”
“The female writers, for whatever reason (men?), don’t much believe in heroes, which makes their kind of storytelling perhaps a better fit for these cynical times. Their books are light on gunplay, heavy on emotional violence. Murder is de rigueur in the genre, so people die at the hands of others—lovers, neighbors, obsessive strangers—but the body counts tend to be on the low side.
“I write about murder,” Tana French once said, “because it’s one of the great mysteries of the human heart: How can one human being deliberately take another one’s life away?” Sometimes, in the work of French and others, the lethal blow comes so quietly that it seems almost inadvertent, a thing that in the course of daily life just happens. Death, in these women’s books, is often chillingly casual, and unnervingly intimate. As a character in Alex Marwood’s brilliant new novel, The Darkest Secret, muses: “They’re not always creeping around with knives in dark alleyways. Most of them kill you from the inside out.””