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08 December 2008 @ 08:33 pm
Les Semaines December 8 [posted late]: My Brilliance  
So I wrote what I thought was a rather good response to a discussion about the value (or not) of negative reviews. However the women poets list I'm on didn't think so, as it received a reverberating silence (wait, did I use the wrong fork?). You think I'm brilliant, don't you? Here's what I said:

My problem with a lot of negative reviews is that, well, here's a quick way of putting it. The reviewer loves sushi. They think sushi is really the only good kind of writing; however, this book is a curry book! Look at the mix of spices! And it's Hot! It's *horrible* writing. They do the wrong things with rice, it's physical temperature is not cool, the spice-heat in it has nothing to do with wasabi, and where, where, is the fish?

Most negative reviews I come across are like that--instead of seeing that something is a curry and saying why and how it's a good or bad curry the reviewer says how it's bad sushi. It's annoying.

Especially as I believe there's room for a lot of different writing cuisines out there.


Well, aren't I clever? Huh?

Of course, I am in a revisioning and getting over flu stupor, so I'm probably kidding myself. Also I haven't been eating enough protein. Also, I have been reading too much fafblog for anyone's mental health. Far too rich a diet for someone recovering from flu, however mild.

Please note that I am a great fan of sushi and of curries. Some of my best friends are sushi and curry, though not together.

Jim has now gone out foraging.

-----

For my listening, reading, and writing adventures, and to see word I wrote down that eventually became a published poem, see Les Semaines.
 
 
 
Sherwood Smithsartorias on December 9th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
Not sure I'm getting it . . . what you're saying is that these reviews creeb at the piece for not being something else. Which is definitely a problem. But I don't see that very often; most of the creebs I see are identifying the curry and talking about why this curry tasted off to them.
Neile Grahamneile on December 9th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)
Not exactly that they creeb at the piece for not being something else, so much as they creeb at it for, for example, being set in a secondary world and not having elves, or for having elves, or for having sexy vampires when the novel is a romance, or--
Sherwood Smithsartorias on December 9th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)
Oh, groan. I hate that. Like the author has to perpetrate cliches...
pats_quinade on December 9th, 2008 05:06 am (UTC)
The way I sometimes describe it is to have someone take a delicious bite of potatoes au gratin and then declare that it is the worst apple pie they have ever tasted.
Neile Grahamneile on December 9th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)
Exactly.
Marshamsisolak on December 9th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
Brilliant! And no one else can top *that* so... no response. (Or they're blinded. That's the other possibility. ;)

So yeah, that's how I console myself when no one responds to brilliance on my part. Of course, I could be an extremely poor first reader of my own work.
Neile Grahamneile on December 9th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
Hee!

Actually the whole taste thing is a hobby horse of mine from way back. I run a music review site and long ago realized I just shouldn't write certain reviews because the music doesn't fit in the narrow range of my interests. I'm not going to be able to praise any sweet pop artist for what they do well because I don't like sweet pop.
Phoebeph_unbalanced on December 9th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC)
And now I have a craving for Ahi Vindaloo.
A.kaiweilau on December 9th, 2008 07:18 am (UTC)
Actually I've had some very lovely curried sushi while I've been living in Japan.
Ada Milenkovic Brown: Countess of Lovelaceaccordingto_ada on December 9th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
This is a wonderful analogy and addresses a worry I have in my own writing. I'm not to the point of worrying about reviewers, I'm worried about markets. Because it seems like sushi is in and I write curry. And I don't know whether to keep writing curry and hope someone somewhere will want it, or to try and write sushi and hope it won't just come out as bad curry. It doesn't help that I prefer reading curry.

You know, the Mr. and I went to a Vietnamese restaurant for our anniversary the other week and I ordered curry and they brought me the stir fry version instead. Which was excellent, so I ate it anyway. Hope it wasn't a harbinger of anything.