How even the best writers are affected by bad reviews


I very much like the writer Kenneth Gergen and especially his book,
” The saturated society””

I think it’s  beautifully written and explains the bad side of post modernism but also how differently it could be used.He got a very good review on the Washington Post but later got a terrible one in the NYT.In an interview he told how this affected him badly until the man who wrote the review died ten years later,I’ll put a link in here later.

!He used to wake up at night with thoughts of what he’s like to do to this person.This shows how even someone of high quality can be wounded easily.
Most people who read English novels have heard of Virginia Woolf. She was highly acclaimed yet had breakdowns whilst awaiting reviews .Eventually she committed suicide during WW2.Her husband was Jewish and she was afraid of what would happen if the Germans invaded Britain.

But her mental health was fragile after losing her mother and favourite older sister in her teens and also possibly being sexually assaulted by her half brother.Despite al this she had  much happiness and is one  of the most highly acclaimed women writers of the 20th century…not much good  to her of course

Sylvia Plath a great poet  a generation after Woolf also committed suicide and later became known as one of the best poets of our time!scilW

Would you like to be a tormented genius and enter the literary canon or just be an ordinary,moderately happy person? Most of us are not so gifted in any case.

Some of us believe that others with more gifts,more money,more winning personalities are much happier,but it’s not true.Many geniuses are troubled.

On the other hand being troubled by itself will not make you a genius,alas.Everybody is troubled at times.Sometimes

The Bitch in the House [Paperback] Cathi Hannauer (Author)

Georgee eliotFrancine prose3

This book  is very interesting,It contains stories from a number of women in the USA about their lives.I am unsure who chose the title as my mother would have fainted to hear this name!But in truth one contributor says that she is very nice at work and a demon to her family.She has a very high powered job.I myself find it odd that feminism means women must work  in paid job now even when they have babies.Alas house prices have risen to match and so it’s really tough.Other stories are not so harsh.The one I was moved by was written by a woman who happens to be overweight.She tells her story very well.And what a life she has had.It’s worth getting just for that.And it’s only 1p on Amazon. Some stories seem like ones from the dawn of time.. a couple meet.At last she has found her ideal man.And so he continues until they drive off for the honeymoon and as they approach a big Freeway junction he begins to shout and yell because she is not telling him which road is the right one!And he never even gave her a map/road atlas.So married life began with a shock of horror.I myself love books like this that a bit like a blog tell a story of another woman’s life/The stories are too short really… but it’s a gripping read.A very good variety of different lives,different kinds of relationship and the toughness of educating yourself when you are poor and possibly black too

Elemental as a storm



A force  far deeper than our anger

Elemental as a storm,

Annihilating all before it.

Terror does our rage inform.

This ancient self feels  we are threatened

Runs to  rise and to protect;

Most murderous when  we’re most alarmed

Rage  an enemy detects.

Over-riding other feelings,

Depriving us of  wits to think

Like a nuclear  tsunami

Disconnecting human links.

Reddened vision,focused,narrowed

Eyes locked onto enemy.

All the wider context losing,
Wiping out  good memories

Like a mother tiger fighting,

With the cornered eagle’s force

We will destroy  what we think other

Without   feeling our remorse.

Nature gave this to protect us;

Yet  our  perception's often wrong.

Once the flood of feeling takes us

All reflections seem too long

Later, if we see our victims,

Will we know when we have erred?

For  hate deceives ourselves and others

When our inmost terror’s  bared.

How can we step back and ponder,

See life from a wider view?

How can we become less blinded,

See our world and see it new?

Succumb  not to final despond.

Succumb not to your despair.

Often there are some who see.

Often  some preserve their care.

Tempered by reflective wisdom

Rage  can calm  when understood.

When we find another being

Who can withstand   this  Tiber's flood.

I didn’t know we were trading with North Korea



Mary was sitting in the window  waiting for Amazon to deliver some cushion covers. Then she saw a van outside and a handsome young man  walked up the path to her green door

When Mary saw the cushion covers she was very pleased because the pink ones were in fact coral and she prefered coral to pink or red
She was using some memory foam to make her chair more comfortable but as it had no cover over it it would  to get very dirty ,not to mention it would look horrible. By mistake she had also ordered to Golden  cushion covers but they will come in useful no doubt in the bedroom as a  touch of gold is very romantic and elegant
Emile  her little cat had jumped inside the cardboard box and he was chasing his tail as cats like to do. If Mary had a  Tale it would not fit inside a cardboard box but only in a computer.
After putting the coral covered cushion onto her  chair  she lay back comfortably whilst admiring Leonard Cohen’s hawk like nose as he sang Closing Time on YouTube.
What a pity that I never met a man with a hawk like nose ,she thought.
There is something about a hawk like those that is very charming and at the same time gives a hint of  attractive danger.
Should a woman who wanted  a hint of danger ever get involved with a man like that? For wonderful as Mr Cohen was,  his love life did seem to be quite painful. Is it better to be so handsome and winning and have lots of girls chasing you or are you better off just being ordinary and winning the love of one good woman/man who will stay with you forever.?
As Mary was not a man she was unable to answer the question. but Leonard Cohen was only human and even if  he did have a lot of girlfriends  breaking up is very painful to do
I think that if you are a poet or an artist you need a lot of time alone and such a man would not want to waste  time driving you to Tesco’s and spending two hours trying to decide what kind of soup to buy. nor would he be interested it in the kind of cushion covers that you wanted or whether you should use a souffle dish for the Sunday roast. Of course he was Jewish so it would have been the Sabbath meal that was important that I do not think that roast beef and Yorkshire puddings are what most Jewish people eat on the Sabbath I may be wrong.
Mary sat staring that Leonard Cohen for ages.I wonder if he died because of Donald Trump being on the television so much in the pre-election time .He would probably collapse  if he saw what Donald Trump has done so far. It is completely  unimaginable  to people like Mary and  her friends that a  democratic country could elects such a man
 In came Annie wearing a red and yellow striped coat.
Good gracious cried Mary where did you get that from?
It was hanging on a hook in the hall ,Annie  replied sarcastically.
Did you mean where did I buy it from?
Yes,I did of course, any idiot would know said Mary rudely
~Well I bought it in the market. it was only £15.99 and it says made in North Korea.
I didn’t know we were trading with North Korea said Mary nervously
Well,you know now, replied Annie kindly
I suppose in this post Brexit era we will have to trade with whoever we can  find,Mary whisprered
I guess that principles are all very well but when it comes down to  recession and starvation that we will simply trade with anybody at all in the world even Mr Putin the Russian leader.
We’ve been trading with Russia for a long time  responded Annie. I think we get our gas from Russia.
Don’t you think  for us it’s foolish to become  dependent on getting  something so important from a country far away and were you not better off with coal fires with coal from our own Mines. here in Britain
It’s nice to have central heating but  if it means depending on the  the Russians or on countries in the Far East then we are playing  with hot coals.;to think  every time I make a cup of tea  the kettle is using gas from Russia why my ancestors would never believe that and they would have thought it was extremely stupid,I believe
It’s better to go into the woods and pick up some old pieces of wood or you could take  an old piece of furniture outside into the backyard and chop it up and use that to light the fire;you could burn rubbish on it as well .My mother used to like throwing  empty sugar bags on as the little bits of sugar remaining would cause the wood to  catch fire more rapidly then she would put some coal over the top and had a fire without spending very much money nor depending on places where we have no control over their politics and economics.
I wonder if Russia is taking anything from us?
God Only Knows let’s have a race .Shall we ring 999 twice and see which ambulance gets here first.?
I hope it will be Dave because he makes a very nice cup of tea and I have got some Yorkshire tea bags in the kitchen which would  make a   change ; I have also got some tea bread from Marks and Spencer’s
The doorbell rang it was a young man from down the street.
Hello  he said my name is Tom; my cat has just had kittens and I wondering whether you would like one of them when they’re old enough to leave their mother?
I don’t think so, said Mary. one cat is enough for me.  Emile Is a tom cat and he might get very jealous if I got another male cat and if I got a female cat he might want to have children.
What is wrong with that said Tom. after all that’s the way God made them
God made  deserts but it doesn’t mean that everybody’s got to live in them.
And so say all of us.

Now the sun has set, the sky is mauve

The sun looked angry when the dawn was due;
Its red more fiery,deepening scarlet hue.
The birds were singing though my heart loved Hugh.
All in all, I don’t know what to do.

The clouds betrayed the sun by turning grey.
Well, in  winter, who on earth makes hay?
The sun shone brighter as the earth it flayed
I can sell  my soul for money on Ebay.

The sun then disappeared to plot
How it can give us acne  like a shot.
And make our skin peel  like potatoes hot
All in all, I think I’ll tee a pot.

Now the sun has set, the sky is mauve
Tall trees stand  gravely in their gentle grove.
Where lovers meet and discuss when to rove
As for me, what woman is betrothed?

The sun looked calmer as  the day faded
It is now more  deep sea green than it is red
The birds are singing , seems they’re  feeling glad.
As for me,well better wed than dead!

Lyra has a bath and Stan entertains his mistress

 Cats staring 3


Stan was in the conservatory re-watering the cacti and sweeping the ceiling with a new broom.Mary his wife,[or so she claimed],was in the kitchen making cheese scones and bread for their afternoon tea.Their daughter Laura was taking a bath to wash all the blue raindrops from her hair.A peaceful Saturday scene in the Midland town of Knittingham.
Just out of the blue,the doorbell rang.It was Annie their widowed next door neighbour.She was wearing a long blue satin dress with a built in train.”I’m off to London now” she simpered.
“Can I give Lyra a lift in my train?”

“I believe unless I have strong disconfirmatory evidence, that my daughter is still in the bath.”Stan said defiantly.
Anne entered the house and ran upstairs.There she saw Lyra wrapped in a large blue towel like object.

“Is this a towel?” Lyra asked pertly

.”I have no evidence either way.”Annie announced.

“Where did you get it from?”

“That big blue window”replied the rosy blue cheeked girl ironically.”It may be a curtain”
“Oh,dear.Have I erred?” she pondered.
“No,you look very clean to me,though one can never be absolutely certain.” Anne said thoughtlessly.
“I suppose all one can do is to keep the dirt between certain parameters that each must decide for themselves.The Tudors only bathed once a year. And King Henry Vlllth founded the Church of England just so he could get a divorce from himself,not to mention a little gold too.”
Lyra worked for a publisher in Oxford Street,They were always on the look out for new titles and for money.
“Would you ever consider writing a blue self help book,Anne?”
“You can make a good deal of money that way.Self help is in Vogue now. I was thinking of:How to divorce yourself in three easy stages using self hypnosis.

We already have :How to found your own Church.” and “How to steal somebody else’s Church in three steps.”
Anne was keen to get an interest as since killing her husband for his money,she was feeling lonely,remote and schizoid, and her affair with Stan was proving a bit slower to take off than she had narcissistically expected.
“I am already a unqualified hypnotist.”she lied intensely.
Just then they heard a strange crash.Stan had been standing on his Habitat chair trying to eavesdrop on the women’s conversation,and it had fallen apart under the weight of his hiking boots.He lay on the carpet looking pale with blood running down his aged head.”Can you ring 999 please ?” he yelped .
Lyra looked at the chair.
“No,Dad it’s o.k.I can fix this with some U.H.U glue.I have some in my purple tote under all my medication.
She whispered saucily to Anne,
“I’ll text you tomorrow,my darling angel.Love the dress.”Lyra was a trans sexual lesbian paramedic you see,as well as a publisher’s clerk and also did not have other intriguing money making jobs into the bargainas the English say now and then.
Mary was in the kitchen finishing off her baking.She lived in a world of her own mainly focussed on her second hand Raleigh small wheeled shopper bicycle and its wicker basket that she bought in East Anglia or, to be exact,in Wells-next-the sea.It was now grey but still functional like many other towns in Britain and their inhabitants.She put the cheese scones and butter onto a large elliptical plate and went into the dining room followed by Emile her cat ,who was partial to a knob of butter on a Sunday teatime.
Where was his sister Emily he wondered?

Moses was an eruption


Moses was an Eruption I hear.So he had to be kept warm in a basket.
Then Foureyes daughter let him gloat  down on the  River Nile…till a bull rushed him
He  was turned into a shrew and found God.. or God found him
But God would not let him find Galilee so he found Emilee ,Loelee and Phoeebilee instead.
He had many children such as Matthew,Hark,Look and Gone.They were all men and had more children with no wives. Adam did have Eve but  who did Cain and Abel marry? Eve?
Is this what Freud never realized… men used to marry their mothers and later their daughters who were also their sisters,Crikey,what a blunder
Blimey what is this Bible? Libel?
As we were taught in school Daniel lived with a lion and a lamb.I’m unsure if they had children…. it might explain a lot if they did.
And finally Solomon was very wise.It was easier then when there was no judge or jury to stop him cutting a baby in two… well, he was just pretending.
I say,the Shrews were very shrewd and clever.Like who told Adam and Eve what to do before Masters and Johnson wrote that book,Human Textual Despondency?
In any case Adam could not read.In fact they didn’t write either.And to think children here can write so young.Adam and Eve were a bit lacking but they have lots of family
Everybody on Earth… pity they are dead and can’t see us though God knows they’d be shocked if they saw our behaviour to our family

By politicians evil,crazed and numb

Some days are days of loss and great despair
When all alone, we miss our loved one.
And feel we cannot live with sorrow bare.

For even if for our own self we care.
Our little efforts are too soon undone
Some days are days of loss and great despair

Why is life ,so often ,so unfair
For refugees who flee  the savage bomb?
They feel   they can’t endure  sharp sorrow bare.

Paralysed, we freeze in our armchair
Waiting for the one who never comes
Some days are days of loss and great despair

And yet we change as our emotions  flare
We feel as if we are no longer shunned
We accept with our good will   this sorrow bare.

We  look at refugees who are undone
By politicians evil,crazed  and numb
Some days are days of loss and great despair
We feel we cannot live but  yet we  care.

The consolation of poetry



“Art lasts because it gives us a language for our inner reality, and that is not a private hieroglyph; it is a connection across time to all those others who have suffered and failed, found happiness, lost it, faced death, ruin, struggled, survived, known the night-hours of inconsolable pain.

Eliot says: “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” That, for him, was not the reality of dingy streets and gas fires, typists and tinned food, though he writes about those things so well, but the vast reality of two quite different invisible worlds – “the heavy burden of the growing soul” (Animula), and what might be called the “shaft of sunlight” (Four Quartets), a spiritual illumination that became, for Eliot, a journey towards God.”