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Read about WALKING ON RIPPLES in The Irish Times here.

david-murphyLast Saturday The Guardian published an article by one Sarah Churchwell, the sub-heading of which states: “Poe, Updike, Roth, Mailer: many male authors have contributed to a culture in which the credibility of women is undermined.” The key things to be vilified in this article are patriarchy and misogyny. In these days of #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, not many people would argue with that. But Churchwell goes on to say, “Some of the worst culprits are … men telling stories in the very decades when women were making real political and professional gains.” In case we don’t get the message in this lengthy and overblown piece, she – in the very next sentence – places partial blame for patriarchy and misogyny on “certain men, including influential storytellers”.
The authors mentioned above, plus others including Bellow and Coetzee, are lynched on the gallows of misogyny (so is Herman Melville – his crime? Not enough female characters in MOBY-DICK – no, I’m not making this up – according to the gospel of Churchwell, Melville should not have written a work of fiction about whaling because not enough women were involved in that occupation in the year of publication, 1851).

We are in the dodgy territory of authors being charged with what the characters in their books say and do. The article attempts to counter this by stating, “The standard rejoinder is that this is the character’s misogyny, not the author’s” – but Churchwell then hangs JM Coetzee out to dry because of the thoughts and actions of Professor David Lurie, main character in the classic novel DISGRACE. To make matters worse, Churchwell compounds her own disgraceful witch hunt by adding, “Male readers … rarely use the compliment ‘universal’ to describe a book written by a woman.”

I, and several male writers and readers of my acquaintance, do not gender-differentiate between authors. Shame on Sarah Churchwell for suggesting that men do this. It does not matter one whit to me, or to my male writer-reader friends, that the likes of Lessing, Atwood, Roy and Mantel are women. We do not consider them as men or women, but simply as great writers – ‘universal’ in fact.  For what it’s worth, the full Guardian article can be found here

 

A stunning new book landed on my lap a few days ago. AFTER ON by Rob Reid is a door-stopping hardback of 552 pages. It’s densely written so concentration is a must. Stick with it, it’s worth the effort. A menacing near-future plot will frighten the bejayzus out of you, though much of the novel is set in the dot.com era of the late nineties and early 2000’s. This is cutting edge stuff about crassness and greed, venture capitalism, creeping connectivity and a scary new social networking site called Phluttr. Techs, geeks and nerds abound within the Silicon Valley world of AFTER ON. If you are the sort of person, I hope you are, who is alarmed by globalisation and smart advertising, if the likes of Starbucks setting up shop in every nook and cranny irritates you, if Facebook annoys the hell out of you, if the tweets of ignorant, arrogant and downright dangerous presidents madden and terrify you in equal parts, then WhatsApp your friends and followers and command them to read this book – accept no excuses!

All of last year’s posts are now on the News Archive 2017-11 page up on the menu bar.

 

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12 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Frank / Jan 31 2011 11:44 am

    Hi Dave,

    Good work on the new site!

    Frank

    http://www.albedo1.com

    • David Murphy / Feb 3 2011 3:50 pm

      Thanks, Frank. WordPress is a whole lot easier on the eye than MySpace.

  2. Sam / Feb 6 2011 3:51 pm

    Looks the biz Dave. Good luck with it!!

  3. Adam Jones / Mar 27 2011 12:58 am

    Refreshing review! Great stuff.

  4. David Murphy / Mar 27 2011 12:38 pm

    There’s been a huge amount of hits on that review, Adam. Next time I post a review, hopefully soon, I’ll start up a reviews section and put them all together on a dedicated page rather than on the news page. At the moment my reviews are in different places. For instance, there’s a bad, and I mean BAD, review of the TV series ‘Lost’ in among the ‘Thirteen MySpace Blogs’ up on the toolbar. I’ll try to keep the new review page, when I get it started, confined to visual media.

  5. jamesosbornenovels / Sep 13 2012 8:04 pm

    Hi David
    Enjoyed your blog. Plan to check in regularly — I signed up to follow. Hope you’ll check out the short stories on my blog and perhaps follow also — are novels and short stories seem to be of are of similar genres.
    Regards
    James

  6. Alex Bardy / May 23 2013 2:00 pm

    Hiya David,

    There’s no obvious way to contact you through the website, so just thought I’d let you know that I have in fact reviewed your book, Bird of Prey, for the BFS (British Fantasy Society) — I sent it in a few weeks back but have no idea when it’ll finally appear on the website, so please accept my apologies for that. Fingers crossed, it;ll appear some time soon.

    Keep up the good work,

    Alex

  7. David Murphy / May 23 2013 3:02 pm

    Great to hear from you, Alex. I look forward to that “Bird of Prey” review at the BFS!
    And I’ll add clearer contact details to the top of this page.
    Dave

  8. Sam de Man / Jul 1 2013 8:18 am

    Well Dave
    You are brave to have….
    Saved
    This
    Revelation but opened
    Inner self to rid …. The mortal
    Of the not ignoble
    TRUTH .

    (Der won’t b all dat much slaggin….. Really)

    • David Murphy / Jul 1 2013 10:57 am

      Slaggin? I forgot about that. The slaggin of purveyors of poterey will only be allowed by those who put a pint on the pote’s table before they start their slaggin.

      • Sam de Man / Jul 1 2013 12:12 pm

        Sure it’s de drink
        dat ….
        has u..
        I de way u
        ARE!

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