This isn’t about anything going on at the moment. The last review I received was actually fairly glowing. But, with a new release out, I know (or at least i hope) someone will eventually say something, because really the only thing worse than a bad review is silence.
I know a lot of writers do not read reviews at all. That’s fair. We all do what we need to in order to have space to work and create. I’m morbidly fascinated and fired in the kiln of Harry Potter fandom. So really, I feel like I’m pretty equipped to deal.
That said, whenever I do feel like I need to gird my loins to see what is being said about me, I reflect upon Ambrose Bierce’s criticism of Oscar Wilde.
That sovereign of insufferables, Oscar Wilde has ensued with his opulence of twaddle and his penury of sense. He has mounted his hind legs and blown crass vapidities through the bowel of his neck, to the capital edification of circumjacent fools and foolesses, fooling with their foolers. He has tossed off the top of his head and uttered himself in copious overflows of ghastly bosh. The ineffable dunce has nothing to say and says it—says it with a liberal embellishment of bad delivery, embroidering it with reasonless vulgarities of attitude, gesture and attire. There never was an impostor so hateful, a blockhead so stupid, a crank so variously and offensively daft. Therefore is the she fool enamored of the feel of his tongue in her ear to tickle her understanding.
The limpid and spiritless vacuity of this intellectual jelly-fish is in ludicrous contrast with the rude but robust mental activities that he came to quicken and inspire. Not only has he no thought, but no thinker. His lecture is mere vebal ditchwater—meaningingless, trite and without coherence. It lacks even the nastiness that exalts and refines his verse. Moreover, it is obviously his own; he had not even the energy and independence to steal it. And so, with a knowledge that would equip and idiot to dispute with a cast-iron dog, and eloquence to qualify him for the duties of a caller on a hog-ranche, and an imagination adequate to the conception of a tom-cat, when fired by contemplation of a fiddle-string, this consummate and star-like youth, missing everything his heaven-appointed functions and offices, wanders about, posing as a statute of himself, and, like the sun-smitten image of Memnon, emitting meaningless murmurs in the blaze of women’s eyes. He makes me tired.
4 thoughts on “Remember: everyone’s got a nemesis”
You know I was also reared in the crucible of fandom, but I still appreciate this viewpoint. Some people are just gonna be dickburgers about things. It’s how it is. Sometimes they’re gonna attack everything you love, misrepresent your views, fail to grasp your most salient points, and disparage your dearest characters. Sometimes it’s someone brilliant, like Bierce, trashing someone else brilliant, like Wilde. Sometimes it’s not that the reviewer is dumb or celibate or homophobic or lacking a sense of humor. Sometimes they’re just different, or jealous, or having a bad day, or your character/plot reminded them unpleasantly of real life. Examples like this make it easier for me to shrug and carry on.
I’m a lot less combative about it than I was in fandom. Some of that is practice, some of that is they pays their moneys, they can say what they like. In fandom, no one paid anything, so i might as well have got some entertainment taking out frustrations on those who want to fight on the internet.
Now I just take swipes on Huffington Post.
Yeah, if a reader pays for a book and hates it, then I’m not gonna tell them they’re wrong. I sincerely want everyone to feel they got their money’s worth out of my stories.
Is that why you do that? I find it entertaining, not gonna lie.
Some of it, I guess. There’s rarely just one reason for what I do, but it is fun to make comments and on occasion add to the subject.
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